Occassionally a patient is wavering on proceeding with surgery and wants to speak with a former patient to help them decide. This is not a problem for us, but we must point out how unproductive this maneuver is in determining the quality of a practice, or what to expect in the post-operative period. Fact: We are most likely to put you in touch with a very happy patient, so you are unlikely to learn anything about the average experience of our patients. Fact: This patient can speak knowledgably about her personal experience, but not about our last 20 patients who had that procedure. If anything, her testimony may be unintentionally misleading. This is the same problem that makes message boards and rating websites deceptive. If a practice does 10 major cases a week or 500 a year, do the reviews of 10 people a year give an accurate picture of the quality of the practice? Of course not! Sadly for the consumer, testimonials and ratings sites can be manipulated as easily by the surgeon’s practice as by the one-in-a-thousand ‘haters’ who try to damage a practice’s reputation. Finding the right practice for you still takes lots of research and meeting with more than one surgeon.
29 Jul 2012