Monday, February 16, 2009

The 2009 Zagat's Guide to Doctors

According to the NY Times:
The ubiquitous Zagat guides are known for an assortment of mostly leisure-related topics including hotels, spas, golf courses, movies and nightlife. Now the editors are asking people covered by one of the country’s largest commercial insurers to post reviews of their doctors and rate them in categories like trust and communication.

As in other Zagat guides, the responses are summarized and presented as scores that, in this case, are edited by the insurance company WellPoint. They can be viewed only by WellPoint customers. The reviews are being introduced online to millions of WellPoint’s Blue Cross plan members across the country.

A sampling:

Robert Mixxon MD (Pediatrician)
"Dr Mixxon is just ok. I mean, I liked his waiting room (lots of coloring books and toys and cute little mini-chairs for the kids and a giant aquarium, although I did notice a couple dead goldfish floating at the surface). But he's not exactly a world class charmer. I mean, where's the silliness? Would it kill him to make a few exaggerated facial expressions? Would it be putting him out too much to maybe tickle little Joey a couple times? Couldn't he like wear a clown nose or have a pen with a little mini-stuffed animal attached to the cap? Overall, the effect was rather a little too desultory; utilitarian but ultimately unsatisfying."
-Reviewed by LourdesNYC

Sussanah Pledget MD (Internist)
"This chick is hot. Smoking hot. I'm a healthy guy but I'm going to have to find new excuses to make another appointment. If you're heterosexual, I strongly suggest smoking, overeating, and using a lot of hard core drugs so you can get in to see Dr Pledget as much as possible."
-Reviewed by StanTheMan

Anil Patel MD (Gastroenterologist)
"I like Dr Patel. His skin is an eclectic mix of caramel and chocolate, but tastes more like expensive aftershave (I would not recommend trying to lick his fingers like I did; awkward!) He's a great physician. Very handsome. He drives a red BMW so if you wait in the McDonald's parking lot across the street you can follow him home."
-Reviewed by LooonyLorrie

Kyle Stoffer MD (Dermatologist)
"What a disaster this guy is. He comes in, looks at my hideous rash, writes me a prescription for some 'special cream' and then he's gone. I'm like, don't you want to see my blood sugar trends for the past 6 months, but he'd already slammed the door in my face. And my ankles were especially swollen that morning and he didn't even press on them. And I've been so tired lately, it's like if it isn't my fibromyalgia acting up, I can hardly get out of bed. Dr Stoffer is not my idea of a compassionate physician!"
-Reviewed by Phyllis_Lunddun

Joseph Manheim MD (Surgeon)
"Bad teeth, bad breath, and a chilly demeanor. And he wears paisley ties with striped shirts. I'd rather have my dog's vet take out my gallbladder."
-Reviewed by Connie_in_Poughkeepsie

Theresa Knowles MD (Family Practice)
"I'm not a doctor (admittedly) but sometimes I wonder if Dr Knowles knows what in the hell she's doing. I mean, look at my skin. It's all saggy and wrinkled and hideous and she says there isn't anything she can do about it. All she wants to talk about is my goddam blood pressure. Meanwhile, I have these swollen blackened sacks under my poor eyes and she says there's no medicine that will make it go away. Is she stupid? Doesn't she realize I can Google these things? Hello? Don't they teach doctors about sliced cucumbers anymore in medical school? I highly recommened seeking your medical advice from someone else."
-Reviewed by Dolores_Astor1932


Unknown said...

The unfortunate thing is that other patients may just listen to these reviews and base their treatment decisions on them.

Anonymous said...

Does any Doctor worth his salt have trouble getting enough patients? Even those with money and/or good insurance?? we oughta start rating them, or at least let each other know about the bad apples, although you can usually spot them at the door...

ShrinkingDoc said...

Did you make these up? I think I already know the answer unfortunately...

rlbates said...

I find this very sad.

Felix Kasza said...

Please tell me that you at least made that fibromyalgeur (fibromyalgeuse?) that goes by Phyllis_Lunddun up!

Does she, aside from pitting oedema (probably secondary to morbid obesity, T2DM, HTN), also happen to have those horrible migraines that respond to nothing but -- "Ah, Doctor, what's the name of that drug again? I think it starts with a 'D'!"

With my sincere condolences,

Anonymous said...

I get the point. Pre-selected opinion points might fix this slightly.

The surgeon, who's hospitalist wouldn't change my narcotic Rx to one without caffeine, without a late night visit to the ER, deserves all the scorn mentioned.

Time to approve some more ER insurance appeals.

/I am kidding about the appels
//They are determined based on the signed documenation.

Andrew_M_Garland said...

You know the joke:
What do they call the intern with the worst performance? Doctor.

Doctors provide a mysterious service based on knowledge that the patient cannot usually evaluate. When people look for a doctor they use the available information.

Professional associations are suspect because of stories of incompetent doctors being tolerated. The only observable and trusted information is demeanor and office decoration.

What advice does the AMA or other associations of physicians give for choosing a primary care or pediatric physician? Personally, I have used recommendations from prior physicians I have trusted.

Beyond that, what information do I have? What is your advice?

tracy said...

Yipes!!! This actually makes me think i might be a "good" patient...!

Anonymous said...

If Phyllis_Lunddun wants to pay for the care-all package from a physician, then she can certainly get it.

Gary M. Levin said...

I hope that when Wellpoint patient read this 'crap' they will realize where their health premium is going, and wonder why their premiums are so high. I would think all doctors who are on wellpoint....and there are thousands, would protest. There is something implied by a physician allowing a company to post this kind of gibberish. I would write a letter of demand that it all be done away with with the threat of cancelling their contract. Contracts you know are a two way street...which most physicians do not realize.