By Dan Ariely/ Recode staff, October 26, 2019 9:00:24A new study suggests it’s hard to really know what you’re getting in your doctor’s office.
The researchers looked at more than 7,000 physicians, and found only 37% of them were able to provide a clear answer about the quality of their care.
The researchers also looked at patients and doctors’ perceptions of what constitutes good medicine.
They found the answers varied from a lot of “good” to “average,” with some doctors and hospitals saying they gave patients the best care possible.
This is important, because the most important thing for patients is to know the answers, said Dr. Andrew R. Fergusson, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
For example, a doctor who says she gave the most care in a given hospital might also say she was more compassionate, compassionate in some other ways, but also gave the patient the best chance to live and recover.
This makes sense, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to good care, Dr. Fegusson said.
It’s not just the quality that’s important, but the individualized care that you’re providing, he added.
As for doctors’ willingness to share that information, the researchers said doctors in some hospitals had a tendency to be vague or flat-out lie about their quality, Fergsson said, so it’s not a surprise that they’re not always accurate when it comes to their patients.
This isn’t the first time researchers have looked at physicians’ answers to patients’ health care needs.
Last year, they found that more than 80% of doctors surveyed said they don’t feel that patients know what they’re getting from their doctors.