How to Look Up Your Doctor’s Ratings
Reviews and Ratings About Your Doctor
A number of online resources allow you to look up ratings of a particular doctor by other patients. These resources differ in that they measure the doctor according to different criteria. Some of these criteria include the friendliness and helpfulness of office staff, the punctuality and bedside manner of the doctor, the physical environment of the office, and how difficult it is to get an appointment.
Below are a few of the most popular online physician rating sites.
- Vitals– One of the most commonly used ratings organizations is Vitals. This website provides ratings, medical credentials and affiliations, and the ratings for any affiliated hospitals or medical institutions. The company claims that it provides reviews for about 70 percent of the nation’s doctors. The website collects data from nearly 200 different sources, including information from every state.
- Healthgrades – This is another online resource that provides current and comprehensive physician profiles that consumers can review in order to choose a physician.
- RateMDs – RateMDs also provides physician ratings and lists links to state medical boards so that you can examine those resources for information about your doctor as well.
- Doctorscorecard – This website is a similar resource that provides patient reviews of doctors.
Most recently, Angie’s List and Consumer Reports have joined these online resources in publishing ratings of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers for consumers online.
How to Utilize the Rating Systems
When reviewing doctor ratings, most experts recommend that you search across several ratings sites. A comprehensive search will enable you to see the greatest number of reviews and ratings for your doctor, to help you gain an accurate picture of the public opinion about your doctor.
You also should be mindful of patterns. For example,when several websites report complaints about a particular doctor it should be an indicator that they may not be the best choice as your health care advisor. If five separate complaints focus on a single issue, such as punctuality or attitude, for instance, it is more likely that the complaint is accurate. If five complaints focus on different issues, however, each complaint might reflect a patient’s personal opinion or preference rather than an actual problem with the doctor.
Look Beyond the Ratings
In addition to reviewing patient ratings, you also can examine more objective information about your doctor with the help of the agencies below.
- The American Board of Medical Specialties will tell you if your doctor is board certified.
- The Federation of State Medical Boards contains links to the medical boards of every state, where you can check for any medical malpractice or other legal judgments that have been assessed against your doctor.
- The National Committee for Quality Assurance will tell you whether your doctor has met certain quality standards for treating specific types of medical problems.
Additionally, you might check with your own insurance company. Many insurance companies now have doctor and medical provider rating systems in place, which allow customers to make more informed decisions in choosing a doctor to meet their medical needs.
- Physician Directory, by WebMD
- How to Look up Doctor Complaints, by Shelby Winchell, ehow
- How to Rate Your Doctor, by Trisha Torrey, About.com
- Check your Doctors Credentials,by MDNationWide