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Physicians Unhappy With Online Rating System

With online rating services evaluating everything from restaurants to college professors to physicians, it leads one to question who are actually writing these reviews and are they credible.  An article in the Chicago Tribune earlier this month explored this question.  Within the article, doctors say medical reviews are not only scarce, but also often unfair and unreliable.  I encourage you read the story written by Julie Deardorff: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-biz-1115-doctor-ratings-20101115,0,3988474.story.

There are more than 30 different online services rating physicians, including Zagat Survey. Critics argue that “most of these sites have too few reviews per doctor to offer statistically significant information.”  Dr. Jeffrey Segal, chief operating officer of Medical Justice, claims that the average doctor cares for between 1,000 and 3,000 patients annually, however a typical review site has only has only three posts reviewing a given physician.

This is not to say that all reviews posted online are negative.  A study published earlier this year found that 90 percent of the reviews were positive.  Nevertheless, the development of an objective, statistically reliable and supportable rating system would help to ensure that all doctors are being evaluated fairly.  Until that time, we’ve got the wild west of online ratings.

For more, check out the article in the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-biz-1115-doctor-ratings-20101115,0,3988474.story

Post by Dan Dunlop with Stephanie Cohen, UNC-Chapel Hill Student and Jennings Intern

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