This is a society of raters. We love to give our opinion on a scale of one to ten for everything. It makes it a simple way for others to look at a glance and determine who is King of the Hill and who is lower than low. Because we do this for everything from quality cars to box office hits it's no surprise that we do it for more important services, such as finding a physician. You might be surprised to find that there are even sites out there that give you local physicians a score on a scale of one to ten. So how can doctor ratings help you find your next physician?
Doctor ratings can be found on a variety of web pages. They are often used in conjunction with a written review of an actual patient. These often are not official reviews given to them by the state health board but there might be some information on the state board's site about the doctors overall performance in the state's eyes. For the most part these are going to be informal but can be very informative. You might be surprised at what you can learn about a doctor that you might have seen once or twice.
Doctor ratings can give you, in a nutshell, what might take you months to discover. That doesn't mean you'll learn all the dirty little secrets your physician is hiding, most of that is really no one's business, but what you will learn is things like bed side manner, wait times, and general care given. These are the things that most consider important when choosing a family physician. You don't want care giver that makes you wait forever, treats you like a number instead of a human being, and then doesn't give adequate care, no one does.
When you use a doctor ratings system to help determine your new physician you need to keep an open mind. There is always going to be one person who thinks the physician can do no wrong and one person who believes the physician is the worst they've ever been to. What you need to do is look at the average. If there are reviews on this professional read the best and the worst and see what they say. Then check some of the in between, or all depending on how many there are and how much time you have to spend, and see what they are saying. It's the only way you will get a feel for the physician.
Doctor ratings are a wonderful tool to finding a new family physician. It might be a little time consuming to take this route the research is important. Only you can know what the best fit is for you and your family but these types of areas are a great way for you to get a feel for what is out there. No matter if you choose a doctor based solely on their record on one of these forums or not, it might not be a bad idea to check them out.