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
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
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
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.