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Dying for Satisfaction: Being Happy with Your Doctor is Bad for Your Health


There is an important study in the Archives for Internal Medicine last month, which escalates an ongoing row as to whether patient satisfaction is in any way correlated with positive medical outcomes. The answer is yes, and the correlation is negative.

This finding is of critical importance, not just in understanding why American medicine is a hopeless, costly mess, but also as a window into how easy it is for buyers of complex services to be hoodwinked by their servicer provider, whether via the provider being incorrectly confident about his ability to do a good job or having nefarious intent.

Let’s deal with health  care case first. The study in question was large scale, of 52,000 patients from 2000 to 2007. This summary comes from the Emergency Physicians blog (hat tip Julie W):

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