Doctor Ratings on the Web: Meaningless, inaccurate and dangerous

I’m in favor of unbiased ratings of physicians on the web but am unimpressed by the quality and accuracy of the information currently available. (The following information was found Dec 18, 2009)

Mark Weinberger M.D. from the RateMD’s website.

Dr. Mark Weinberger
Merrillville, IN
Gender: M
Specialty: Ear, Nose and Throat
Webpage:

This is taken from the free section of the rating on healthgrades.com. It also showed a 4 star out of 5 star rating of quality of care.

Dr. Mark Weinberber practices
Otolaryngology in Merrillville, Indiana
Address and Contact Information
255 East 90th Drive Suite 1
Merrillville, In, 46410
Specialties:
Otolaryngology.

Medicynical notes: These sites are ludicrous. This guy has been a fugitive from malpractice litigation since 2004. He was arrested yesterday in Italy where he has been hiding.

Other inaccuracies in doctor ratings may not be so obvious. A patient’s best source of information is likely a combination of recommendations from doctors the patient knows and trusts and other patient’s experiences.

In a similar vein, information about illness and approaches to treatment on the web are of widely variable quality. The alternative medical sites (“naturopathic” and “homeopathic”) often misrepresent themselves and their capabilities and provide misleading and sometimes tragically bad information.

As in everything in our society it’s buyer beware.


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