Monday, June 12, 2006

Investigate Your Doc

In keeping with my recent theme of entrepreneurship in medicine, I'm posting about another money-raising venture related to mental health: web sites designed to provide information about physicians. Let me say first that I think patients do have a right to know the qualifications and experience of their doctors. That's really not the issue. The issue I have is that there are businesses out there profiting from patient fear. For example: HealthGrades. This is a company that offers to provide reports about the physician of your choice, including information about internship and residency, hospital affiliations, disciplinary actions and malpractice claims. This is all pertinent information that patients might want to know about their doctors. What this web site doesn't mention is the fact that all this information is already available to you, for free, through your state's medical board. Or you can go to the reference section of your local public library and use the American Board of Medical Specialties to look up information. (Or buy your own copy! Only $649 through Amazon.)