Recently Lifehacker did a piece on finding a good doctor. It actually was a pretty decent article that touched on why website are the best or (credible) website for finding out how good a doctor really is.
Web sites like Health Grades, Doctor Finder, and RateMDs do exist, but most physicians suggest these ratings aren’t a good representation of a doctor’s skill.
Recently the New York Times weighed in on the matter stating:
For all the debate about which Web sites have the best model for reliable reviews — paid or unpaid, anonymous or real name, Angie’s List or Yelp or TripAdvisor — one thing is certain: a robust ecosystem exists online for restaurant and hotel reviews that has changed those industries for the better.
So it is puzzling that there is no such authoritative collection of reviews for physicians, the highest-stakes choice of service provider that most people make.
According to the Lifehacker article, they recommend that you
1.) Figure out what kind of doctor you need. If you don’t have a primary care physician they that’s where you should begin.
2.) Make sure they take your insurance. The last they you want is to find a doctor that suits you needs and they not take your insurance (similar to Walt and his oncologist in Breaking Bad, and you know what he did for the money).
3.) Make sure the doctor fits your personality. They recommend checking out the doctors office and location, as well as calling for an introductory phone chat. I’m not sure how many doctors will have time for this, so this may not work well for many but what they heck it’s worth a try.
All those ideas make sense. At this time there really aren’t any great online sources, and it would appear that word of mouth is probably your best source for information about a doctor. And if you city has it try ZocDoc.com, a great start-up that actually sounds like it may bridge the great online disconnect to finding a doctor.