Brennan Spiegel, a gastroenterologist and co-author of the study, said that may be the right way to think about reviews — as gauges of things the patient can observe.
“It may be that these ratings are a good measure of the front-office service or the interpersonal style of the physician,” said Spiegel, a professor and director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai. “We’re not saying that there’s no value to these online ratings — we’re saying don’t confuse those ratings in any way, shape or form with the actual technical skill.”
The study published in September in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, looked at users’ ratings on the websites: Healthgrades, Yelp, Vitals, RateMDs and UCompareHealthCare.
In a world of constant, sometimes instant feedback, it’s still hard to find information on how skilled doctors are at their jobs.
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