How do you know if a doctor is any good?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Rearden Metal, Feb 25, 2006.

How often do the doctors get your diagnosis & treatment right on the first try?

  1. Over 90% success rate, correct diagnosis + correct treatment on the first try.

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  2. About 80% success rate

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  3. About 70% success rate

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  4. About 60% success rate

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  5. About 50% success rate

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  6. About 40% success rate

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  7. About 30% success rate

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  8. About 20% success rate

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  9. Under 10% success rate

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. Yesterday I stumbled upon a site where anyone can leave ebay-esque 'feedback' on any doctor they've seen:

    http://www.ratemds.com

    Great concept, I hope the site grows in popularity and many more ratings are added. Remember that shitty doctor who misdiagnosed your X as Y? Get him back, leave some feedback.
     
  2. Good luck with the poll, there is bound to be significant skewness.

    Medical doctors diagnose what they are paid to diagnose, you know that.
     
  3. Agree. I checked out the site and it has serious flaws.

    The majority of the ratings were either 1 or 5. That means that people who are contributing to the site are either pissed off or extremely happy. There doesn't appear to be any means of accountability in posting, so there's no way to know the source or its validity.

    It also appears that a lot of the complaints or accolades are given on bedside mannerism; which is a horrible way to rate your doctor. I know of one doctor I worked with last year who is a serious prick. He has the bedside manner of a neanderthal, but is an exceptional practitioner (and he knows it too, definitely an ego thing). If I needed a cardiologist, he'd be the man.
     
  4. Hey, if you know of another site that accomplishes the same thing with fewer flaws- let me know. :cool:
     
  5. If you want free information that isn't bias, the best you can do is to check the State Medical Licensing Board website for your state. A directory of State Medical Boards can be found here:
    http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html
    Unfortunately, it only contains information on disciplinary actions and license revocations, so looking for any rating scale isn't provided. However, knowing whether or not your chosen physician has ever had any type of problems with the authorities is an important first step.

    My suggestion for using a rating scale is to use a paid service that provides a physician report for a fee. The most important thing about this IMHO is that it eliminates the input of anonymous free sources as part of the rating scale. In other words, unless you paid for the service, you don't get to provide a personal review of that physician. While it doesn't completely eliminate bias, it certainly reduces the chances of people giving ratings out of spite or delusions of grandeur. An example of such a service:
    http://www.healthgrades.com/consumer/index.cfm?tv_eng=home&tv_kw=consumerPic
    I'm in no way affiliated with that site. In fact, I've never even used it. I'm not even sure what motivation there would be for a positive affiliation versus a negative review. The most important thing is that there isn't any information available for free; thus helping (hopefully) to eliminate any skewed results.
     
  6. I've actually used heathgrades recently. It told me very little, other than there were no gov't actions against the M.D. (As is the case with 99% of them- most of whom are still incompetent.), and they can't get malpractice suit data, and there were no user ratings. Thanx though.

     
  7. Admittedly, there are a lot of quacks out there, but I'm not sure what criteria you are using to assess competence. It is, of course, assuming that you, unlike the majority of the general public, actually know enough about medicine to be qualified to make an assertion.

    Actually, there is a governemnt database that has malpractice information on it:
    http://www.npdb-hipdb.com/npdb.html
    But its not open to the public.
     
  8. TGregg

    TGregg

    One needs a way to rate the raters. Some folks are without a clue. For instance, I was on a restaraunt review site, and read up on Morton's (a high end steakhouse chain where one can expect to drop about $75 a person outside of the big places like New York and LA). One lady wrote about how mad she was that they were seated away from the rest of the people, and mentioned they brought their 8 month old infant.

    She was such a `tard she thought it was OK to bring a baby to a place like that, and rated them poorly for trying to insulate the rest of their guests from the rude visitors.

    Another example, think of the absolute worst movie you've ever seen, then check out some big movie review site - you'll see people posting about how it was the best movie they ever saw.

    My point is, that until there is some sort of reviewer rating, the reviews from the general public are worth slightly less than one pays to read them.