Picking a physician or finding a specialist for your condition is never easy. There is a plethora of choices out there, but how can you tell which physicians are working toward your best interests? Will they spend time with you? Will they work to treat you? Or will they quickly prescribe you medications, just to get you out of the door and allow more patients in?
No one purposely seeks care from a high-risk provider, but those patients who do see a physician who is inadequate were often unaware of their physician’s history. If you are looking for a trustworthy physician, then you need to make sure that they carry a low-risk for injury or accident – and luckily, there are plenty of ways to research that.
How to Determine if You Are Selecting the Right Physician
Use the board certification tool always. If your family physician has recommended a specialist, do not just take his or her word. Instead, contact the local state licensing board and see what they have to say about that specialist. Look for disciplinary actions, pending lawsuits, or even completed lawsuits. Any physician who is board-certified will have a file with the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Visit medical and scientific advisory boards. If you want a physician who is at the top of his or her field, check out the online advisory boards. Even if you cannot see these physicians, you may be able to find which physicians in your area trained under them.
Visit patient advocacy groups. Unless you have an extremely rare condition, it is likely that there is a care provider in your area with the expertise to take care of you. You can look at local patient support and advocacy groups online specifically for your condition, and see which physicians those individuals recommend in your area. Always look for physicians who are recommended more than once.
Ask your health insurance provider. Your health insurance company will often have special designations for physicians who meet certain care standards. These designations are earned by meeting efficiency and clinical standards – which vary, depending on the insurance company.
Online rating services. These days, there are numerous resources online that will help you find a qualified physician. You can visit sites like RateMDs.com, Angie’s List, HealthGrades, and more. These could be useful in helping you decide if a physician is worthwhile. But, take reviews with a grain of salt. You may find that doctors will have more negative complaints than positive – because usually only those who are unsatisfied will take the time to file their complaint. In this case, read the negative comments carefully, and see what the patients are saying. Sometimes, the complaints have nothing to do with the physician’s care, and instead have to do with office staff or even wait times.
Were You Injured by a Medical Professional?
Sometimes, working with a physician who seems great at what he or she does can still lead to serious injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury due to inadequate medical care, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. It is best to seek assistance from a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible – and there are strict requirements for how long you have to file your claim. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.