19 January 2005

How good is your doctor?

Change is coming to medicine. Ready or not.

More and more, doctor performance is being measured. The results are at once obvious and iconoclastic: not all doctors are equally good at saving lives.

Once we acknowledge that, no matter how much we improve our average, [this inequality] isn’t going away, we’re left with all sorts of questions. Will being in the bottom half be used against doctors in lawsuits? Will we be expected to tell our patients how we score? Will our patients leave us? Will those at the bottom be paid less than those at the top? The answer to all these questions is likely yes.

And about time, except for the bit about lawsuits. Read the full essay. Fascinating.

(Also gripping. I don't normally read the New Yorker; my amygdala is reeling.)

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