Interim Physicians Blog

Dr. Ken's Corner: How Americans Choose Their Doctor: A New Study

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Jan 28, 2015, 1:04:08 PM


Online ratings of physician quality have less influence than we may have thought, according to a recent national survey. When it comes to choosing a personal physician, two-thirds of Americans say they turn to friends or family for recommendations. A "good bedside manner" outweighs "competence" two to one as the most important feature defining a high-quality doctor.  "Being attentive," "caring," and "spending time with patients" are perceived as more sought-after qualities than a physician's diagnostic skills.  This just-released study was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • Data on physician quality provided by the federal government are less reliable than assessments and recommendations made by other physicians.
  • About half of Americans believe that higher quality health care costs more, while 37 percent say there is no connection between quality and cost.
  • Patients agree with health policy experts that public reporting of treatment outcomes would improve the overall quality of patient care.

Topics: Dr. Ken's Corner