Monday, June 12, 2006

Investigate Your Doc

In keeping with my recent theme of entrepreneurship in medicine, I'm posting about another money-raising venture related to mental health: web sites designed to provide information about physicians. Let me say first that I think patients do have a right to know the qualifications and experience of their doctors. That's really not the issue. The issue I have is that there are businesses out there profiting from patient fear. For example: HealthGrades. This is a company that offers to provide reports about the physician of your choice, including information about internship and residency, hospital affiliations, disciplinary actions and malpractice claims. This is all pertinent information that patients might want to know about their doctors. What this web site doesn't mention is the fact that all this information is already available to you, for free, through your state's medical board. Or you can go to the reference section of your local public library and use the American Board of Medical Specialties to look up information. (Or buy your own copy! Only $649 through Amazon.)


Spiritual Emergency said...

Unfortunately, as long as there is a buck to be made, consumers will have to exercise caution. This is true whether you're purchasing material goods or a service.

I can't imagine that an ethical clinician would hesitate to provide that kind of information to their clients/patients (or object if they choose to seek that information out from a reputable provider). It helps establish authenticity for the clinician and facilitates the development of trust between "doctor" and "patient".

Great post. I gave it a Thumbs Up

ClinkShrink said...

Cool, thanks. I don't think I've ever been quoted before, except for my puns.

Sarebear said...

So far my iatrist hasn't bothered to tell me about his suspension last year. And, in fact, I was told that he was traveling around, giving lectures, speeches, etc....

Maybe he was, but only because he HAD to do something to bring in money? Lol.

Nothing like lying to the ole patients. Or at least not telling. Actually, in my state I could get the transcriptions of the disciplinary proceedings, and stuff, for $12, but I figure why bother? Plus, I already have ENOUGH difficulties with the man, without finding out more specifics. I haven't told him I know because, well, who am I to burst his bubble? Anyway, I know what it's for, although what's listed makes me want to KNOW what went on!! Since I'm a female patient too.

Did you know, the average year a doctor gets a disciplinary action is around the 16th/17th year? Funny, since my iatrist has been practicing that long.

Mebbe there's a 16th year syndrome that makes Dr.'s get an acute attack of hubris. Lol!