Can You Trust Directories of Top Doctors?

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    Aug 13, 2014 2:33 AM GMT

    NYT: Various directories and websites claim to compile lists of the best physicians, but who is deciding and how? Here is an example of a problem: The official letter is sitting on my desk, announcing that a relative of mine has just been named one of the world’s top physicians in his area of expertise. Once he confirms his biographical details, he is guaranteed inclusion in online and print directories of similarly honored peers (“not only a tribute to your success, but also a valuable resource for potential patients”).

    I can clearly imagine his reaction had he opened the letter himself: a combination of amusement, dismay and just a small hint of pleasure. However, he has been dead for 16 years.
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    Aug 13, 2014 7:01 AM GMT
    I know a doctor who received an invitation in 2012 to be named as one of the "top doctors in America." There was a brochure with several other choices availbable, with different plaque sizes and different titles, all depending on how much one wanted to pay.

    The only problem is that this doctor had changed his medical license status to "inactive" 9 years before that, and hadn't seen a single patient since then.

    The same doctor just last week received an invitation to join the American Academy of Sports Medicine (which, by the way, also accepts physical therapists, nurses, nurse practitioners, and a whole page full of medical-related professionals).

    This time, the only problem is that the doctor had officially retired a year before and now no longer has any license at all.

    So take these things for what they're worth. I always laugh when I go to my doctor's office and see two walls covered with such plaques, and think:
    1) How much did you pay for all that crap? and
    2) Who do you think you're fooling?

    It's across all medical, dental, and similar professions. My last dentist used to have a few such plaques for all his dentists in his waiting room.