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Living with report cards for physicians

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Abigail Zuger, M.D., writes about report cards for physicians.

“I am graded these days not by test performance or classroom participation, but by my success in getting patients to do well. Not necessarily to feel well or to be well, mind you, but to perform well on their own tests. They do well, I do well. They do badly, I flunk.”

Now, she writes, “{E]very set of doctors marches to its own numbers. Surgeons are assessed by their complication rates, internists by what fraction of their diabetic patients are well controlled and have seen the proper specialists, and by how many other patients are persuaded to accept recommended medications and vaccines.”

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