Booster Shots

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Other angles on the doctor-patient relationship

May 19, 2008 | 10:00 am

Consumers are rating their doctors, and some doctors are saying patients should be rated as well. For additional looks at the relationship between doctors and patients, check out these stories -- otherwise known as this week's Editor's Picks.

From Time: Giving patients the VIP treatment

"Some patients have had enough, and those who can afford it are choosing to pay hefty premiums out of pocket to get more personalized, more polite service. There are now more than 1,000 doctors in the U.S. who have opened concierge, or boutique, practices, according to the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design. They limit the number of patients they see so they can devote more time to each; accept insurance for routine treatment and tests; and charge patients an additional flat fee for extras like no waiting, longer office visits and round-the-clock availability via e-mail or cellphone."

From the New York Times: Doctors say 'I'm sorry' before 'see you in court'

"For decades, malpractice lawyers and insurers have counseled doctors and hospitals to "deny and defend." Many still warn clients that any admission of fault, or even expression of regret, is likely to invite litigation and imperil careers. But with providers choking on malpractice costs and consumers demanding action against medical errors, a handful of prominent academic medical centers, like Johns Hopkins and Stanford, are trying a disarming approach."

And from the Boston Globe: Even doctors should read the fine print

"Throughout my medical training, I have been taught to read medical research with a skeptical eye. My professors in medical school relentlessly emphasized the importance of carefully reviewing the methods section of every study to look for sources of bias. And the doctors I have worked with during my residency training have taught me to interpret study results carefully in the context of real-world patients. Recently, however, I (and many of my colleagues) have begun to wonder whether even this degree of scrutiny is sufficient."

-- Tami Dennis