Consumers' CHECKBOOK Logo

Nonprofit Ratings of Local Service
Companies and Health Care Providers

CHECKBOOK is a Unique Rating Service:
Nonprofit & unbiased
Accepts no advertising
Prevents ballot-box stuffing
Price comparisons
Quality comparisons
Expert articles and advice

Only $34 for Two Full years!
(View All Rating Categories)
How We Gather (and How to Interpret) Our Data

Our tables rating individual doctors will be more valuable to you if you know how the data were gathered and how they should be interpreted. See the text of our article for more discussion of these data

Opinion Surveys

Customer survey scores reported on our ratings tables are from our surveys of area consumers—primarily Consumer Reports and CHECKBOOK subscribers—conducted via email and regular mail.

Since many physicians were rated by rather small numbers of raters, small differences between two physicians in the percentage of raters who gave a particular rating (say, “superior”) should be ignored. The table below gives a rough guide to minimum differences you should look for in deciding on one physician over another.

When using these survey data, remember that the questions are to some degree subjective and that the differences among physicians might be explained by differences in the personalities, backgrounds, critical standards, and other characteristics of the raters or by biases these raters might have.

Timeliness of the Data

All of the data must be interpreted in view of timeliness. Our customer survey data are from surveys conducted from January 2006 to April 2012. Survey respondents were asked to report on experiences in the preceding year.

Top Ratings

We give checkmarks according to who scores highest on a scoring system that we devise for each service field. Our scoring systems take into account the various data in our tables based on our subjective judgment of their importance. Since the scores are based entirely on information presented, you can apply your own subjective judgments, and decide whether you prefer providers we have not given checkmarks.


A rough guide for deciding whether the difference between two percentages is important If one firm had this number of ratings: And a second had this number of ratings: Do not give much importance to the difference between percentages unless the difference is at least this many percentage points:
Assuming the average of the two firms' percentages is 50 percent 10
30
60
120
10
30
60
120
45
26
18
13
Assuming the average of the two firms' percentages is 80 percent 10
30
60
120
10
30
60
120
36
21
15
10

Return to Doctor Ratings Page Back to top