Originally posted Feb. 28, 2019
Here is an excerpt:
And now, for reasons still unclear, Top Doctor Awards had chosen me — and I was almost perfectly the wrong person to pick. I’ve spent the last 13 years reporting on health care, a good chunk of it examining how our health care system measures the quality of doctors. Medicine is complex, and there’s no simple way of saying some doctors are better than others. Truly assessing the performance of doctors, from their diagnostic or surgical outcomes to the satisfaction of their patients, is challenging work. And yet, for-profit companies churn out lists of “Super” or “Top” or “Best” physicians all the time, displaying them in magazine ads, online listings or via shiny plaques or promotional videos the companies produce for an added fee.
On my call with Anne from Top Doctors, the conversation took a surreal turn.
“It says you work for a company called ProPublica,” she said, blithely. At least she had that right.
I responded that I did and that I was actually a journalist, not a doctor. Is that going to be a problem? I asked. Or can you still give me the “Top Doctor” award?
There was a pause. Clearly, I had thrown a baffling curve into her script. She quickly regrouped. “Yes,” she decided, I could have the award.
Anne’s bonus, I thought, must be volume based.
Then we got down to business. The honor came with a customized plaque, with my choice of cherry wood with gold trim or black with chrome trim. I mulled over which vibe better fit my unique brand of medicine: the more traditional cherry or the more modern black?
The info is here.