It is often difficult to reach a doctor for a phone call. They are often busy with other patients and you may end up talking with an office nurse. More and more doctors are responding to patient e-mails. However, doctors do not get compensated for phone calls and e-mails and that is often why they prefer to see you in person. Also, your appearance can tell a good deal about your health status that is not discernable in a phone call or e-mail. Accurate diagnoses are better made in-person than by phone or Internet.
James Roth, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
- family medicine
- pain medicine
Location and Office HoursLincoln Tree Clinic
Manchester, TN 37355
- BlueCross BlueShield
- BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
- First Health
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- Tricare/Humana Military Healthcare
- United Healthcare
- Murray Medical Center
- Stones River Hospital
- United Regional Medical Center
- How can I determine if a doctor will be easy to reach by phone or e-mail?
How can I determine if a doctor will see patients at night or on weekends?
Most physicians will not see patients in their offices or at the patient’s home in the evening or on weekends. Some will, however, and there is a new practice model called Concierge Medicine in which physicians promise greater access for a fee. Typically, if a patient calls a physician after hours, that doctor, or a covering doctor, will respond, discuss symptoms and advise the patient to immediately go to the emergency department at a nearby hospital if it is a critical problem or come in to the doctor’s office the next day if the need is not urgent.
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.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment
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