Before undergoing surgery or treatment, it’s important to research and find information about the doctor who will provide the services. Reviewing the doctor’s information is one way in which people have the opportunity to take charge of their medical care. It can ensure patients receive care from a professional with whom they feel comfortable.
Doctor Information to Consider
Depending on the health problem or condition, a specialist may be necessary. The field of the doctor’s specialty could impact significantly whether the patient is accurately diagnosed. If the area of specialty is very limited, the doctor may not be qualified to diagnose a condition beyond his or her area of expertise. As a result, the patient may receive unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment, or the patient may fail to receive necessary treatment.
It’s also important to check into the doctor’s credentials. Is he or she board certified? This can be verified through the American Board of Medical Specialties. This shows that the doctor has taken extra steps beyond licensing, which may indicate the likelihood of receiving quality care. Other places to check a physician’s credentials include the American Medical Association’s DoctorFinder and Administrators in Medicine.
The doctor’s track record is critical during one’s research. If there are numerous incidences of complaints or lawsuits, this should raise a red flag. Looking into the state’s medical licensing board website is one way to uncover potential problems. Even doing a Google search on the doctor’s name may pull up useful information.
It’s just as important to research the quality of the facility from which the doctor is practicing or will provide care and treatment. For instance, Health Grades is a website that provides patients with ratings on hospitals. There are other sites that also may help guide patients in making the right choice.
The length of time a doctor has been in practice might make a difference. Although experience is important, patients should remember that newer doctors still may provide adequate care. Further, some prefer newer doctors whose medical training is more recent. Of course, older physicians should continue their education and familiarize themselves with the latest advancements. It’s important to look at doctor information from all angles.
How a Doctor Can Impact the Type of Care Received
When someone is suffering from health problems or is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, a lot is at stake when it comes to receiving the right type of care. Not taking the time to research a doctor could put the patient at risk.
For instance, when the quality of care is lacking because the physician isn’t qualified to deal with the patient’s condition, the patient could receive an inaccurate diagnosis. This could cause the patient’s health to worsen, even to a point where it turns life-threatening. Early treatment and/or detection might have made a significant difference.
Surgery patients who find themselves in the hands of a surgeon sued numerous times for serious malpractice could be at risk. Even a simple procedure could turn into a life-changing event.
Receiving the wrong drug or dosage, errors interpreting test results or failure to connect symptoms to a certain health condition are other examples of medical mistakes that may stem from poor care or lack of qualifications to handle the patient’s medical needs.
Even if someone has done the research and collected the doctor’s information, there is still the risk that something goes wrong. If that is the case and it’s believed medical negligence was the cause, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates for help filing a malpractice claim against the negligent healthcare professional or facility.