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Physician characteristics associated with patient experience scores: implications for adjusting public reporting of individual physician scores
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  • Published on:
    Specialty differences in patient experience results: The patients or the doctors?
    • Michael Millenson, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

    As a non-physician often working as a researcher with physicians, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the explanation in this article as to why certain specialties might get lower patient satisfaction scores than internists. Yes, it may well be that the episodic nature of the encounter with a non-chosen physician leads to lower satisfaction. But given the long history of jokes within medicine based on the personality type differences among specialties, and, one would think, given the authors' personal experiences in say, their last dermatology appointment, might not differences among doctors rather than patient issues be at least be presented as a hypothesis? The briefest of Googling finds a post in the KevinMD blog, directed towards physicians, on "remarkably distinct" cultures. (The blog is here: https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/07/what-personality-type-fits-your-med.... One of the literature links is here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04099.x)

    I admire the question and rigor the researchers used in answering it. But, in the Discussion, simply assuming "differences in perception must be due to the patient" fails to meet the test of common sense.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.