Lead author Rajesh Balkrishnan, an associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and College of Pharmacy, and colleagues analyzed data from an online survey tool, www.DrScore.com, where 14,984 patients ranked visits from 2004 to 2010 on a 10-point scale -- 10 being the highest.
The average overall satisfaction rating was 9.28, with 70 percent giving their doctors 10's. Another 2,291, or 15 percent, gave 9's, the researchers said. Less than 2 percent of the ratings were 1 or less, Balkrishnan said.
These high marks overall suggest that most patients give doctors the benefit of the doubt and realize factors beyond the physician's control, such as insurance red tape, contribute to their dissatisfaction, Balkrishnan said.
The study also found older patients, patients with shorter waiting times, and those who reported spending more time with their physicians had the highest scores. Younger patients, patients who reported longer waits and patients who spent less than 5 minutes with their physicians had the lower scores.