Don’t let doctors’ quest for five-star online ratings put your health at risk.


Don’t let doctors’ quest for five-star online ratings put your health at risk.

Doctors Excerpt from the Health Care Book

Taking control of your health entails more than mindlessly following expert recommendations. It entails educating yourself about hidden forces that may have an impact on your care—as well as ways to communicate to your doctors that you’re not simply looking for a quick fix, but the correct solution. In her latest book, Health Your Self, Janice M. Horowitz, a veteran former Time health reporter and host of public radio’s Dueling Docs: The Cure to Contrary Medicine, effectively identifies background influences that can impair care (Post Hill Press, September 21). She explores how patient satisfaction surveys might bias doctors’ treatment recommendations to your detriment in this sample, as well as what you can do to guarantee your doctors are prescribing the best prescription.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve disregarded your health problems for the past year, afraid of contracting COVID-19 if you walk into a medical facility full of people who have been infected. You got by most of the time: the splinter fell out, and your sniffles went away. Sometimes it works out well, but other times it doesn’t. When someone I know’s vision became fuzzy, he was too afraid to go to the emergency room, and by the time his wife persuaded him, it was too late.

Now that we have a semblance of tepid independence in many parts of the country, thanks to immunizations and fewer COVID deaths, we’re willing to take care of ourselves at long last.

Before you do, be aware that whenever you visit medical centers such as urgent care and emergency rooms, there is a hidden power at work.

You are that unseen force.

Doctors in urgent care clinics, emergency rooms, and some large medical centers are especially interested in patient satisfaction questionnaires that you may have completed. It’s possible that their motivation for satisfying the patient isn’t simply to heal, but also to get good grades. We brought my daughter to urgent care because she had a terrible earache that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Antibiotics, which were unnecessary for this new, feverless sickness, and regular double doses of over-the-counter painkillers were an easy way for the doctor to demonstrate that he was doing everything he could. This is a condensed version of the information.


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