When you schedule your first appointment with a doctor you should take the view you are interviewing the doctor to see if he or she is one you would like to care for you. Have a list of questions ready and do not be hesitant to raise issues of concern to you. Of course, the doctor will be discussing your health history and getting to know you at the same time.
Douglas S. Reynolds, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
Location and Office HoursUniversity Family Practice
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
- Should I make an appointment to meet a new doctor?
How can I find out if a doctor has been sued for malpractice?
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredFinding out if a doctor has been sued for botched practicing is certainly a legitimate qualifying factor when you're shopping for a new physician or specialist. As long as the info is put into context, that is.
To find out if any malpractice lawsuits have been filed against a physician, call the county clerk's office where he or she practices, as well as the state medical licensing board and the state insurance department (you can ask the latter if any claims are on record for the doctor). You can also check your doctor's record on Web sites such as www.docboard.org.
Just remember that it's common for doctors to be sued, and many cases are dismissed or the physicians win, so the fact that a doctor has been sued for malpractice isn't necessarily a damning sign.
However, if he or she has been sued several times in the past few years and many of those suits have been settled or resulted in the award of large sums to the patient, I, as a doctor, would see that as a warning sign to move on. Lighting can indeed strike in the same spot twice, but four or five times is a little troubling.
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How can I determine if a doctor is part of a group medical practice?
Today, most doctors practice in groups, either large or small. In fact, as of December 2010, more doctors were employed by hospitals than were in private practice.
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