Posted: Jul 21, 2012 at 2:49 PM [Jul 21, 2012]
In academic and scientific circles, U.S. News and World Report grades as the same significance as Reader's Digest. Both are available in the grocery-store check-out lane. The former only publishes occasionally and it's purpose is to show dubious survey results ranking the "Best" colleges, hospitals, etc. and to sell magazines. GaryBaldwin, technology editor of HealthLeaders magazine, notes, "Pardon my skepticism, but you will not convince me that it is the duty of American magazines to go about ranking the performance of American hospitals. To me, such surveys are little more than publicity stunts masquerading as serious journalism. 'Now, if there are indeed "best" hospitals, and they can be ranked, in order, like so many movies' box office volumes, then should there not be, by extension, a corresponding list of the "worst" hospitals? ' My fickle reporter mind insists on going to these facilities and imagining what the place looks like. I bet U.S. News would not be in the waiting room." He continues, "I've spotted big sandwich boards proclaiming various prizes displayed in hospitals' lobbies--they usually tout "best," "not most improved." The U-M Hospitals embarrassingly display this type of self-congratulation.
What's next? The Police Gazette grades college police and security departments?
Please, just because the U-M heirarchy gloat over the U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT magazine's survey results, friends, consider the credibility of the source of the information and how it's obtained and analyzed. I know better; so should they.