Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do you wish you could rate the doctors that care for your adenoid cystic carcinoma?

Doctor rating - most people wish for a fair system that consumers can get easy access to, in order to make better treatment choices. The New York Times recently had an op-ed piece, titled: Rating Your Doctor, Fairly http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/opinion/08sat1.html

I took a quick look on the web to see if I could pull up any ratings on any of my doctors. I found a few sites, but as far as I can tell, nearly all required money to see the real ratings. The FAQ of RateMDs shows that it is a social networking site, relying on patients to report on their experiences with physicians, so it is the closest one to being 'free'. I know I use comments and ratings on Amazon when considering buying electrical kitchen appliances, but I am not sure I would put the same weight on someone's comments about the oncologist I need to treat my cancer... I would definitely take the comments into consideration, though. More about this site on a blog, complete with comments from readers on both sides of the rating debate: Notes from Dr. RW

Health Grades http://www.healthgrades.com
offers reviews on physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes. Reports are for a fee - the doctor I looked up had a review available for $29.95. I could also get a cost estimate report for oncology visits for a female, aged 45-64 in my zip code for another $7.95.

Another site, MDNationwide, charges $19.95 for licensure status, their experience with specific procedures/treatments, their ranking in their specialty field, past state & federal disciplinary actions, malpractice judgements, review* of their internship, residency, and fellowship training as well as the medical school they were graduated from and their complete contact information (*folks, all of those can be retrieved for free from a local medical library)... not sure where this site can get all of that info, but I am thinking that there are bad doctors out there that haven't been sued much. Maybe the social networking site WOULD offer more insight into how a doctor behaves at the bedside and in the office.

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