We continue to espouse the dangers of sites where patients can “rate” doctors. Medical care is simply far too complicated for such a simplistic approach.

Today’s New York Times article “Noted Rater of Restaurants Brings Its Touch to Medicine” by Milt Freudenheim, discusses the Zagat-Wellpoint venture into a doctor ratings guide.

The article cites Medical Justice founder and CEO, Dr. Jeff Segal who states, “online comments are ‘at best anecdotal and in many cases fraudulent. In many cases they are posted by a disgruntled employee, an ex-spouse or even a competitor.'”

The article contains additional interesting quotes;

“Dr. Angelo S. Carrabba, an obstetrician in Rocky Hill, Conn., complained that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a WellPoint company, was ‘treating medical care provided by dedicated and caring physicians as if we were preparing a meal’.”

Dr. Cheryl Ackerman, “It (anonymous doctor ratings) hurts somebody, their reputation, their livelihood.”

Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, “There is no correlation between a doctor being an inept danger to the patient and his popularity,” Professor Caplan said. Reviewing doctors is “a recipe for disaster.”

We couldn’t agree more.