A general practitioner should be a partner in your healthcare. Choosing the right general doctor can be a tricky proposition, and one that all should take seriously. One needs to be able to trust a doctor to oversee one’s healthcare and provide timely, accurate medical attention. Medical malpractice is a reality and protecting oneself from malpractice begins with choosing a great general practitioner.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a new doctor including:
- gender (some might prefer a male vs. female practitioner);
- insurance restrictions; and
- hospital affiliations.
All of these concerns are important and make sure you are comfortable with all aspects of the practice you choose. However, there is still research to be done the previous criteria is satisfied to ensure the appropriate general doctor is chosen.
Tips for Finding a General Doctor
Consider the following tips when working through the process of doctor selection:
- Check with other patients: To ensure a reputable physician, speak with other patients. The best-case scenario is friends or family who see a particular doctor. Ask for feedback on topics such as diagnosis, timeliness of test results, attentiveness, competence of other office staff, and overall opinion of the practice. Referrals from other healthcare practitioners are helpful as well. If neither of these options are available, ask the staff at the doctor’s office for referrals to patients who might be willing to provide input regarding their experiences.
- Interview potential general doctors: Ask for an appointment to interview potential physicians and ask questions. If you have a certain condition that requires ongoing treatment, ask the doctor how he or she treats that condition. Ask how familiar the doctor is with your or any family member’s diagnoses and how often he or she treats that condition. Ask about wait times when requesting an appointment and if there are other doctors in the practice who may provide care, ask to meet them as well.
- nvestigate each doctor’s background: Data is readily available today on doctors’ educational and professional backgrounds, any disciplinary actions, licensing, and certifications. Research potential general doctor history and medical background thoroughly.
- A couple of websites ConsumerReports.org recommends include the American Board of Medical Specialties – this website lists any board certifications a doctor has passed – and the American Medical Association DoctorFinder – this website provides educational history and hospital admitting permissions held by a proportion of doctors belonging to the AMA.
In addition, some health insurance providers can give you background and historical information on doctors included in their network. Check with your insurance company to see if they can help.
What if I’m the victim of medical malpractice?
These steps, of course, won’t make you immune to medical negligence. Even doctors with hundreds of satisfied patients may make mistakes that harm patients. If you feel you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.