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Let Your Fingers Do the Walking … to Find a Surgeon?

Ever wonder what are the most common searches among Yellow Pages users? Here’s a list of the top 300 categories, from the Yellow Pages Association research institute. The top 10 categories are:

1. Restaurants
2. Physicians and Surgeons
3. Automobile Parts
4. Automobile Repairing & Service
5. Pizza
6. Attorneys/Lawyers
7. Automobile Dealers
8. Dentists
9. Hospitals
10. Plumbing Contractors

I am a little bit surprised that so many people choose, or at least look for, a doctor based on a Yellow Pages ad. It suggests at least three things to me:

1. For all the web-based medical resources that have sprung up in the past few years, there’s probably not enough, or of a high-enough quality.

2. Perhaps a Yellow Pages ad for a doctor offers more valuable information than I would have thought. Unlike a lot of people, I generally like ads (especially print ads) for the amount of information they present; that’s one of the many reasons I prefer reading a newspaper on paper rather than online.

3. A lot of people have probably been fired by their doctor recently when the doctor decides she’d rather run a cash-only business instead of dealing with the hassles of managed care. That happened to me not long ago. I had a fantastic doctor, incredibly smart and caring and savvy; we used to have lots of conversations about how the economics of modern medicine conspired against her practicing medicine as she wanted. Then one day she sent all her patients a letter saying she was no longer accepting insurance. And I had to find a new doctor. But I didn’t think of using the Yellow Pages …