It’s NOT about where you studied; it’s about what you do with it. Or is it?

See the article in the WSJ from November 27, 2018 by Allan Ripp, “Take It From an Almost-Harvard Man.” Prestigious brands and labels can open doors, but it’s really about what you do after you cross the threshold. As a Harvard grad of 1972, and the first graduate of my Michigan high school of 2000 students to attend any Ivy League school, I was fortunate. I interviewed at the University of Michigan for medical school, and the interviewer was Harvard alum, boosting my prospects for becoming a physician. But I still had to study medicine and pass my board exams to become a doctor. It didn’t matter where I went to college. You passed, or you didn’t. I attended in Philadelphia the most desired ophthalmology residency program in my specialty, but few people in New England where I practice had ever heard of Wills Eye Hospital. I am retiring after 38 years as an ophthalmologist in private practice in New Hampshire. I can recall only a single patient who admitted to seeking my services on the basis of my college, med school or residency pedigree. For the prospective eye surgical patient, the underlying question is, “Are you great at what you do, doctor?”

But that may not be the case any longer with search engines and ratings websites patients can easily access. With a few clicks you can learn a lot about your doctor prior to your visit. You may even discover the quality score of the doctor awarded by Medicare. Does the patient relying on the Internet now function as a member of a virtual credentials committee? Positive reviews drive other business, why not the search for the best doctor?

A good reputation is hard to come by, but easily lost if you don’t do what is right for the patient. Our job as doctors is to put the patient’s best interest ahead of all else, and the rest should take care of itself.

Reputation by Paul Pender MD