Patient Expectations Too High

This article is more than 12 years old.

A nonprofit group that measures doctor performance in Massachusetts says patients sometimes have unreasonable expectations of their physicians.

When you need to see a doctor, it can be frustratingly difficult to book an appointment with a primary care physician.

But Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, which surveyed 70,000 people about their health care experiences, says patients need to remember there is a shortage of primary care physicians.

"Primary care is actually a team sport. There's a number of different professionals that work within most physician offices to provide the care we need, so we have to change our expectations. We can't expect to see the doctor every time." Says Executive Director Barbara Rabson.

The survey rates practice groups, not individual doctors. Patients say their doctors generally communicate well, but doctors score lower when it comes to how well they know their patients and follow up on test results.

This program aired on July 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.