The 4 Biggest Mistakes When Picking a Doctor

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Few people take the time to do basic research about their doctor. Instead, most just assume their doctor is competent and don't bother checking the doctor's background. Big mistake! Not all doctors are the same--their qualifications and skill vary tremendously and it's up to you to do some research to get the inside information.

These are our Top 4 tips for choosing the best doctor for your care.

#1:  Charming Doctor are Not Always the Best Doctors

Okay, it's great that you love your doctor and feel a strong rapport with her.  However, just because you bond with your doctor doesn't mean that she's the best doctor...in fact, it doesn't mean much at all. Your doctor's bedside manner and likable personality is a positive, but it has very little to do with her skills. Charismatic, charming doctors aren't always the best.

#2:  Research Your Doctor

Is your doctor board certified in her medical specialty? Board certification means that the physician passed written and oral examinations in a specific medical specialty. You can find out whether your doctor is board certified at the New York State Department of Health's website.

Has your doctor settled malpractice cases within the last five years or been censured by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct? You can get this information about your doctor at the Department of Health's website as well as information about licensing problems, such as censure or suspension. You might find that your doctor is on probation with the Department of Health for medical misconduct.

WARNING! If your doctor has been disciplined in a state outside of New York, his licensing problems will usually not appear on the website of the NYS Department of Health. States are not required to report disciplinary actions with each other and it is not uncommon that physicians who are disciplined in one state move to another state. Be especially careful of doctors who have practiced in many different states for brief periods of time, as they might be attempting to avoid disciplinary problems.

Has your doctor been convicted of a crime? You should Google the doctor's name and get as much information as you can. You might find that your doctor was convicted of beating his wife or sexually harassing his staff members (yes, these are real-life examples).

#3:  Caring Physicians Are Less Likely to Make Mistakes

Is your doctor willing to sit down and spend time with you? If your physician is willing to spend 45-60 minutes face-to-face with you, she cares about you and that is the most important indication that you have a good doctor. A physician who is caring and compassionate is much less likely to make a mistake.

#4:  Ask a Doctor to Recommend a Doctor

Doctors in your community know better than anyone else who the best doctors are. You can trust a doctor for a recommendation. If you need a referral for a primary care physician, ask a doctor to make a recommendation.

Have Questions?

If you have questions, we will be happy to speak with you.  You can call us at 845-802-0047.