Monday, April 25, 2005

The Cold Speculum, or, "Turn Your Head and Cough"

I recently had to find a doctor in the DC area for an infected cut on my foot and it was a very frustrating experience. I'm pretty healthy (and have a New-Age hippie level distrust of Western medicine), so I hadn't been to the doctor in a year and a half. I had a list of names
from my insurance directory and nothing else to go on. It turns out that although Google is very helpful for stalking that person you went on a date with last week, doctors are still a blank book.

I chose a name at random and ended up having a very bad experience. This is ridiculous. There's no reason for the health-care industry to be so insular, opaque, and disempowering to the consumer. It's just not good economics! We shouldn't have to rely on word-of-mouth to
pick a good doctor.

So, doing my little bit to spread some information into the internet, I started a blog for reviews of doctors in the DC area. It's at:

If you have any doctors you'd like to recommend (or dis-recommend) please shoot an email to:
It would be great if you could provide as much contact information as possible, reasons why you like or dislike the doctor, and anything else that might be relevant/funny for a new patient. And please pass this around to anybody else you know who might be interested.

With the current Blogger design, this website is pretty hard to organize or search right now. If it starts to get big, maybe I'll have to think about making it more useful...any suggestions?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I love your blog. I read it all the time.

I also happen to be doing a study on technological advances and policy changes in healthcare. As it turns out, there are lots of pissed-off Americans who have the same complaints about doctors. Without overwhelming you with minutiae, let me assure that both the federal government, insurance providers and other interest groups (many of whom have combined to push for reform as the leapfrog group, are pushing for increased accountability in the form of publishing doctor's outcomes.

In short, the end result will probably be a series of physician scorecard-type services, like your new dcdoctors blog on a much wider scale, that leverage information from thousands of clinical records. Hopefully the federal government will impose a standard reporting mechanism and patient outcomes will be made available to everyone, so we'll be able to shop for doctors like we shop for cars -- through reports on qualities like reliability, performance and service.

But until then I'd rely on recommendations from friends.


10:14 AM  
Blogger zzzzzoe said...

Thanks so much Alex! I'd be so happy to see the Leapfrog inititative succeed. I doubt I'll have the time to do much with my doctor's blog, but at the very least, anyone who does research by typing their doctor's name into Google will at least have access to the reviews on it.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Sarah Smile said...

If it helps any, I have a great doctor. I recomend her to everyone. So I can't imagine you have any other readers from my neck of the woods, but if by any weird chance you do, refer 'em to me and I'll give them my doctor's name.
I even like my HMO plan. The last time I was sick, I called the nurses line on the back of my card, and a sweet caring woman talked me through my symptoms, helped me through the paperwork jargon, and refered me to a nearby ER. She even, NO LIE, called me a few days later to see how I was feeling.
The nurse at the ER put stickers on my wristband, and the doctor was as nice as can be.
I think most medical systems are only as nice as the people in them.

5:08 PM  
Blogger zzzzzoe said...

Thanks ValancyJane1 I suspect nice people tend to have other people be nice to them... perhaps you put out a "Be nice to me" aura ;)

12:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Naka said...

I've stumbled across your blog when I done some family health plus insurance
research in Google. You're doing a pretty nice job
here, keep up the good work! check out family health plus insurance

5:44 AM  
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6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:54 PM  
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4:55 AM  

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