Patient-Reported Medical Outcomes According to Physician Type and Region

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of the present study was to determine whether patients with common foot disorders have different medical outcomes depending on whether podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, or other physicians provided their medical care in rural or urban areas. A validated medical effectiveness score was formulated using indirect standardization of risk-adjusted morbidity, based on patient reports from a national random household interview survey of 3,270 subjects. Patients in rural and urban areas did not differ significantly in medical outcomes across provider types, but there was a trend for patients in rural areas to have poorer outcomes. The medical effectiveness score of podiatrists was 3.9 times higher (indicating more beneficial outcomes) than that of orthopedic surgeons or other physicians (p < 0.01). Patients that visited podiatrists for common foot problems reported significantly more beneficial outcomes than those who visited other types of health care providers.