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.
Teresa J. Lynn, DO
Specialty: Family Medicine
Location and Office HoursArbuckle Family Clinic
2011 W Broadway
Sulphur, OK 73086
- How can I determine if a doctor will be easy to reach by phone or e-mail?
How can I find a good general practitioner where I live?
Stuart Linder, MD, Plastic/reconstructive Surgery, answeredBrowse the internet to find a good general practitioner or any doctor. Check out credentials and board certification. Check with the nearby hospital for the chief of staff for the specialty you desire. Always seek 2 if not 3 consultations and bring a check list of questions with you during your visit.
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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