The American Board of Medical Specialties today released a study that shows 91% of surveyed Americans ranked communication skills and board certification highest in important qualities they look for in choosing a doctor.

Here’s the kicker: the survey found that most Americans think board certification is important, but don’t understand what it means. In additon, a majority of respondents had never checked to see if their doctor is board certified.

“When it comes to choosing a doctor, most Americans rank bedside manner and communications skills at the top of the list of qualities important to them, far ahead of the doctor’s hospital affiliation, place of training or office location, according to a survey commissioned by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a not-for-profit organization that oversees the board certification of U.S. medical specialists. Having a doctor who is board certified is a close second in importance to consumers.”

Read more.