Richard Shonk: Using Data to Provide Constructive Criticism to Physicians

As the Chief Medical Officer for The Health Collaborative (THC) in Cincinnati, Dr. Richard Shonk works with practicing physicians to share data that is collected through THC’s comprehensive primary care initiative. Shonk says that the sharing of data is often expressed with a critical concept in regard to what physicians are doing well and where they need improvement.

Shonk emphasizes that where a physician excels is often overshadowed by an area where they may not be performing well. “Many physicians go into to medicine because they want to make a difference,” he says. “Oftentimes they don’t get the opportunity to see the positive influence that they make in the lives of their patients. Testimonials from patients are important to allow doctors to feel a positive energy in his or her career.”

By focusing on the positive aspects of a physician’s practice, Shonk feels physicians are more apt to move further along in their purpose and why they went into medicine in the first place. Shonk also notes that it can often be the little things that a patient does that offer a rewarding aspect to the physician. “It can be as simple as a smile when the patient first sees the doctor,” he shares. “Also, sharing with the physician that certain things they have encouraged the patient to do have made them feel better overall. These things encourage the doctor and also help to find ways of being more effective.”


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