Research news: February 2010
N Engl J Med 2010;362:6-7
Doctors are nervous about being judged by their patients in public. Being rated online invokes the same kind of stomach churning anxiety as fighting your way through a desperate crowd of peers to search for your name on a “pass” list for final exams posted on a notice board, writes one doctor from the United States.
Opportunities to rate doctors online are multiplying, however, and their popularity means that they are unlikely to go away. Type your name into Google and you could find scores rating personal attributes such as helpfulness, as well as scores for how much you know (or seem to know). The writer scored a disappointing 2.5 out of 5 on one site but ploughed on undeterred to look at the bigger picture. Alongside the stark numbers and not so smiley faces she found a rich narrative, “a sea of patient voices