shameless bump - -thanks to all who have responded thus far!
One of the big problems I see is that many patients are just a number. The "family" doctor with 20 years of experience with a single patient or family no longer (or is rare) exists.
I have had good luck with HMOs. But I "shopped" for a Doc and then stuck with him (even to the tune of paying far more in medical insurance for the privilege).
Personally, I still think we have one of the best medical systems in the world. There is a reason Canadians are crossing the border for health care here in the states.