Geum Yi

The danger of grading doctors

August 31, 2015

In his article “Giving Doctors Grades,” Sandeep Jauhar portrays the concept of grades that doctors receive every time they treat a patient. He introduces such a concept with an incident in which a surgeon did not treat a patient because he was afraid to receive a bad “grade.”

Steven Lim Troy High School  10th grade

Steven Lim
Troy High School
10th grade

He uses this example to portray the flaws of this method to judge surgeons because many surgeons avoid “high risk” patients in order to maintain a high grade. Furthermore, this article defines the ideal purpose of this “report card” method as a way to improve cardiac surgery by observing surgical outcomes.

However, Jauhar states that this method backfired as extremely skilled senior surgeons began to take fewer risks with more serious patients as their “grades” plummeted. Statistics supported his conclusion as major health programs such as The New England Journal of Medicine made discoveries through 2005-2013 portraying that doctors had begun to turn away more serious patients and started to mainly serve fairly healthy patients.

These findings underscore the flaws of this report card method by describing the inaccuracy of judging surgeon’s success rates based on such small numbers of treatments.

Overall, this article concludes that report cards have failed as doctors begin to focus on them more than their patients.

I strongly agree with Jauhar that the method of “grading” doctors is highly inefficient and unnecessary because of the unexpected results that it has brought. In my opinion, this method should be stopped as soon as possible because patients are more frequently failing to receive the treatments they deserve as a result of doctors’ worrying about saving their grades. Furthermore, I believe that the report card method is superfluous, for doctors already try to learn from their past mistakes and do not need the pressure that is created from being graded.

Ultimately, I support a more direct approach to treating patients so that treatment is efficient, personalized, and not contingent upon the severity of patients’ conditions.

One Comment

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