Monday, September 04, 2006

Scoring Docs

I came across this webcast from Medscape, from which I receive regular updates on medical news. It reminded me of angrydoc's bonus bogus story.

Here's the transcript, if you are unable to view it (you have to subscribe):

"What Are Patients Looking for?
Posted 08/18/2006
Steven R. Feldman, MD, PhD

Patients generally can't tell whether doctors are making the right diagnosis or prescribing the right treatment, but patients do make judgments on the quality of care they receive. Their perceptions are affected by their interactions with the practice on the telephone, the ease of finding parking, and their interactions with staff and healthcare providers.

Based on my experiences as a physician, I started an online patient satisfaction survey service,,[1] where patients can rate their doctors and look up doctor ratings. We've analyzed the survey results to determine what patients think is important to an excellent medical experience.[2] Quality of diagnosis and treatment plays a role, but more importantly, patients value access and communication with their doctor; a doctor who is supportive, caring, and compassionate; follow-up on test results; quality facilities; and a friendly office staff.

Sometimes we doctors are so caring, so well trained, and so efficient that we can quickly identify a problem and know exactly what to prescribe. When we do that, though, the patient may feel that we were uncaring and that we didn't take the time to do a proper examination or consider the best course of treatment.[3] It's not enough to just be caring and technically expert; the doctor also has to make the effort to communicate that care and empathy to their patient and to provide a uniformly excellent medical experience. When doctors do that, patients are more satisfied. They are also more trusting and adherent to medication -- they actually do better clinically -- not to mention being less likely to sue![4,5] By measuring their patients' satisfaction, doctors gain the information they need to assure patients the best possible medical care experience.

That's my opinion. I'm Dr. Steven Feldman.


1. DrScore. Available at: Accessed August 10, 2006.
2. Anderson R, Barbara A, Feldman S. Seven traits of outstanding physicians as reported by their patients. 2006. Available at: Accessed August 10, 2006.
3. Bendapudi NM, Berry LL, Frey KA, Parish JT, Rayburn WL. Patients' perspectives on ideal physician behaviors. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81:338-344. Abstract
4. Renzi C, Tabolli S, Picardi A, Abeni D, Puddu P, Braga M. Effects of patient satisfaction with care on health-related quality of life: a prospective study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005;19:712-718. Abstract
5. Stelfox HT, Gandhi TK, Orav EJ, Gustafson ML. The relation of patient satisfaction with complaints against physicians and malpractice lawsuits. Am J Med. 2005;118:1126-1133. Abstract

Who knows, one of these days, we may have a Singapore version of Dr Score...not that bogus after all!

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