Study: Most patients satisfied, give docs benefit of the doubt

While the mainstream media may lead one to believe that the majority of patients are angry and dissatisfied with the service they get from their doctors, a new study reveals that almost all patients rate their personal physician as a 9 or better out of a high score of 10.

For the study, lead author Rajesh Balkrishnan, an associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and College of Pharmacy, and colleagues analyzed data from online survey tool, where 14,984 patients ranked visits from 2004 to 2010 on the 10-point scale.

The average overall satisfaction rating was 9.28, with 70 percent giving their doctors 10's. Rounding out the rest, 15 percent of the patients gave their doctors 9's, while less than 2 percent of the ratings were 1 or lower.

These high marks overall suggest that most patients give doctors the benefit of the doubt, Balkrishnan said in a press release, noting that most patients realize that frustrations, such as insurance red tape, are beyond the physician's control.

Not surprisingly, however, patients who experienced shorter wait times and longer appointments reported higher satisfaction with their physicians than those who encountered the opposite.

To learn more:
- read the press release from the University of Michigan
- see the study abstract from the journal Health Outcomes Research in Medicine