Choosing a Doctor

A number of health care sites are popping up that help you choose/rate a physician. Vitals is one of them. Any site that starts to use the power of community will become important. The cumulative voice of thousands can definitely provide you with some information of value. But I would caution that sites like this are starting points only. You still need to talk to others who have used doctors and hospitals you are considering, conduct a further web search and yes even interview the providers before choosing.

That said this site offers you a chance to find a physician, rate a physician, and it will eventually have a function that allows communities of like patients to talk to each other. Right now the searching I did revealed that there are scant few reviews for any one physician and that is why the site is only as good as the number of people rating. A quantifiable and substantial number of reviews is needed for me to pay attention and consider the information for any one doctor. So consumer that is where you play a role. Next time you visit your doctor, go and rate their service at Vitals and other physician review sites. That is how it will become of great value. The other problem with ratings is that so few questions are asked that really probe into the care provided. So it is important to leave comments and tell your story. That is how people can read through the lines and really get a sense for what the health care encounter was like.

And please beware that as a former hospital marketing executive, I know that certain savvy organizations are going to bend over backwards to help their patients know about these sites, visit these sites and leave wonderful reviews. Just know when you are being marketed to and write your review from the heart.