Web-savvy consumers use online rating services to review restaurants, rant about hairdressers, praise carpenters and even assess their college professors.
So why shouldn’t patients rate their doctors?
While more than 30 online services now grade doctors, assessing a doctor’s skills has turned out to be much more complicated and controversial than ranking hotels or restaurants. Critics say that most sites have too few reviews per doctor to offer statistically significant information, and the medical establishment has vocally questioned the concept.
Traditionally, patients find physicians by asking friends, family members or other doctors for recommendations.
Rating proponents say consumer reviews can identify competent practitioners, pressure physicians to improve and provide an overall assessment of the health care system.