Quote of the Day - My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish fluid they force down helpless babies.
Over 800,000 doctor profiles are featured on Avvo - Find a Doctor, the website most known for rating lawyers.* You might be thinking, "Did he just say doctors?" The answer is a resounding "yes." Avvo jumped in to this corner of the Internet with a pool-emptying cannonball at the doctor-ratings country club. When Avvo first launched its lawyer ratings system in June 2007, there were all sorts of over-tanned "pay-to-play" websites lounging poolside, and Avvo has been shaking things up ever since.
Now that everyone's all wet, here are the highlights:
•· Doctor Ratings Directory: Front and center is the directory. Avvo's doctor ratings directory cover all 50 states and include numerical Avvo Ratings for 90% of the doctors in the U.S. The profiles include board certification, education, residencies, fellowships, misconduct, etc. Avvo was able to provide such a large number of profiles because doctor information is (usually) more accessible than lawyer information from state regulating agencies. In each profile, the Avvo Rating is paired by patient reviews and peer reviews. You can visit the site and even rate your own doctor.
•· Health Q&A: Like Avvo's industry-leading Legal Q&A, Avvo features a health-oriented Q&A forum where all of you can ask your medical questions - anonymously if need be - and have real doctors answer them. It will take some time to get this flywheel spinning; but ask your questions and let Avvo know about your experience. The Health Q&A is pre-loaded with roughly 500 questions already answered from doctors at the University of Washington and University of Michigan.
•· Health Guides: These are plain English guides regarding all sorts of health issues. Avvo started with roughly 500 Health Guides covering all sorts of topics, and has steadily increased its offering. You will notice an initial focus on Skin & Beauty, howver, because that's an area that attracts a lot of attention.
While you're poking around Avvo, don't forget to check out Mark's Avvo Blog. Avvo also features a NakedHealth Blog that has subscriptions available. It has the same editorial bent as Avvo's NakedLaw Blog which gets a lot of traffic, since it is full of interesting legal/social observations rather than simple Avvo shilling (which Mark already does too much of on the Avvo Blog, so hopefully he'll get the message).
This offering is the "Yelp of professional services." As many of you already know, that is Avvo's dream: a free website that is a consumer-centric, transparent marketplace for licensed professionals and their advice. No one is attacking this space in a meaningful way right now, so Avvo has made a big splash. As a final note, every one of you knows many doctors. In fact, some of you are doctors. If so, then go claim your profile. Otherwise, rate your doctor!
* Full disclosure here: I am a member of Avvo's Advisory Board and as a consequence hold some stock options in the company, so this post can't be entirely neutral. I am also a good friend of Mark Britton, the President of Avvo. Finally, I hold a 10 out of 10 rating as a lawyer on Avvo, but that rating was given to me by Avvo before I got to know Mark and got on the Board, so that rating is legitimate (and no, I have no idea of the secret Coca-Cola formula or the Avvo algorithm that creates the rating for both lawyers and doctors (although I suspect the two are entirely different). So there you go. Read the above with all of that in mind - but if you're looking for a lawyer or a doctor, there's no better place to look.