I very much enjoy reading Dr. Kevin Pho’s articles. Today I read his article, “Online doctor ratings aren’t very helpful” online in USA Today. He asks, “Can patients reliably choose a good doctor online?”
I guess one could ask a simpler question, “Can patients reliably choose a good doctor?” I think the answer to that question is an unequivocal “yes!” There are great doctors all across the United States. Does online information help? The answer again is “yes, certainly.”
State medical boards across the country give people information on doctors’ training and malpractice judgments. The American Board of Medical Specialties gives the public information on doctors’ board certification online, too, at abms.org. (To learn more about the ABMS, listen to ABMS president Dr. Kevin Weiss on the Getting Better Health Care radio program.
Then, there is the question of online doctor rating sites. Online rating could be a powerful tool, and Dr. Pho makes a great point that doctors should encourage their patients to do online ratings. Over 1,000 doctors are already encouraging their patients to do online ratings at www.DrScore.com, and, as Dr. Pho rightly notes, the average doctor with 20 or more ratings has a rating of over 9 out of 10. That’s right, the average doctor—average—is a 9.3 out of 10. Even “below average doctors” are still very, very good doctors when it comes to patient satisfaction.
Working in medicine, that doesn’t surprise me, because every day I see doctors with an extraordinary commitment to training, to skills and to giving patients great medical care.