If you or a loved one are going to have surgery or any kind of procedure, it is incumbent to follow some basic rules:
- Review your Doctor’s License– Go to the state’s medical website and look up your doctor. It will list if there is any issue with the physician’s license. If you cannot find it on your state medical association website, go to Consumer Reports, http://consumerhealthchoices.org/patients-and-consumers/#doctors.
- Look at your Doctor’s Reviews– Download reports and statements about your doctor from the state medical association and also Medicaid and Medicare, as well as other google citations. Also, look at RateMDs.com. Although there may be folks with unfair bad reviews, the overall assessments should be helpful to you.
- Lawsuits– It seems self evident that you should discover whether your doctor has been sued, and for what. But most people do not take the time to investigate this important history.
- Second Opinions– We cannot emphasize enough how crucial your obtaining another opinion is for your decision making. Perhaps the second doctor will verify what you must do or not do. Or you might learn about other options that you or the doctor had not considered.
- Ask Questions– Bring a written list of questions with you and write down the answers, so you don’t forget later. Also, bring another person (friend or relative) with you so you don’t miss anything. In today’s world doctors expect questions, so don’t be shy.
- Know the Team– Often a doctor works with nurses, other doctors, an anesthesiologist, and aids. Make sure you know everyone on the team and talk with each of them so you have a comfort level and enough viewpoints and knowledge that you can have the best outcome possible.
Follow these simple guidelines and you can better protect against doctor negligence.