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Rate Your Doctor

Are these reviews the next big medical craze?

Doctors play a tremendous role in our lives. They heal us when we're sick, repair us when we're broken and advise us on difficult life decisions. Our care providers can be invaluable lifelines, so what happens when the quality of care flatlines? Do medical consumers have a right to know which doctors are the tops and which may let them down?

women at computer in bedroom

Patients rate doctors on criteria such as bedside manner and punctuality. — JGI/Getty Images

See also: Find a great doctor using Facebook.

Meet Jo Ann Klooz. When deciding if she should take her ailing father off life support, Klooz was disappointed by her dad's doctor who was detached — stating that he had dinner plans and checking his watch constantly.

To vent her frustration at the doctor's insensitivity and warn others of his performance, Klooz logged on to an Internet rating site to voice her dissatisfaction. 

Such action is part of a growing trend in which patients go online and rate their doctors, much like a teacher assigns grades to a student. Other medical consumers can then use these postings to learn about physicians before being taken under their care.

Doctors are rated on criteria including bedside manner and punctuality and the scores are passed on to doctors to give them an opportunity to comment. While these A-to-F online rating sites get important information into patients' hands, opponents say the data are subjective — and some doctors are fighting back.

My Generation's Jeff Levine takes a close look at how these evaluation sites are shaping health care.

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