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:: Find a Doctor :: Doctor Background Check

Find a Doctor
 
Camas, WA. (
Opportunity update) February,
2005

This is usually a simple task.  Open up your phone book (Yellow Pages) and look for one in your area; or ask your primary care physician for a referral to see a specialist.  Better still, go online – there is an abundance of free directories listing doctors.

How to find a doctor?

 

There’s no magical route to finding the right doctor. If you have a primary care physician just call him or her and make an appointment. If you don’t have a primary care physician, try the route suggested above. Or, if you feel you need specialist care, you can save time and money by going directly to a specialist with your particular medical problem.  In the old days most patients would ask their primary care physician for a referral. While this is still done, more and more patients are going directly to a specialist for their medical needs. 

 

Tips on how to look for a doctor

 

1. Find out the history of medical symptoms or diseases that run in your family, or ones you or your family members may currently have.

.2. Once you have identified the problem, let’s say a history of asthma, you may want to find a primary care provider who is (double) Board Certified in “Pulmonary Disease” and “Internal Medicine.” 

3. Depending on how far you are willing to travel, and what type of doctor you are searching for, look for three hospitals near your home. Then go to Google and type in their names. Most hospitals have websites which feature a physician directory.

4. If you are looking for a specialist, such as a plastic surgeon, or a dermatologist, for example, use (example) your three favorite search engines and type: “Florida Dermatologist,” or “Florida Miami Dermatologist.”  You may want to switch the wording around and try a few different methods.

5. Make sure your doctor is Board Certified, and that his or her respective field of specialization is listed, by consulting the American Board of Medical Specialists official directory of specialists, published by Marquis Who’s Who. The ABMS directory is available at most public libraries, as well as hospital, university and medical libraries.

.6. Next, visit the Federation of State Medical Boards (online) to see if any serious disciplinary action has been taken against the doctor you’ve chosen.

 

 Where can I research my doctor?

Once you have selected a doctor, you have several options.  Most patients like to run a background check on the doctor they have chosen.  The best place to do this research is the Federation of State Medical Boards. 

 

 What makes a good doctor?

Based on my extensive research over the past five years, my recommended criteria for finding a good doctor are:


1. The number of years since the doctor received his/her MD or DO. 

2. Whether the doctor is Board Certified or double Board Certified in his/her respective specialty field.

3. In the case of a surgeon, a high volume of surgical procedures he/she has completed.

4. Doctors who have had one or no malpractice lawsuits, with no disciplinary action taken against them.

5. Doctors who are affiliated to at least one medical society related to their specialty. 

 

Bottom line.

We all know there are no guarantees when it comes to receiving the highest quality health care.  We all know there are shady doctors, and good doctors; and then there are those who are renowned for their expertise, who rank amongst the highest in their field.  It’s up to you to do your homework. 

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Best Plastic Surgeons

Washington, (Health) March, 2005


Doctors are sales people too.  With many plastic surgeons riding the bandwagon in the booming plastic surgery industry offering-an array of different surgical procedures-it’s up to patients to find the best plastic surgeon to assist them with their medical needs.

Who can I trust to find me a best plastic surgeon?

Yourself! knowledge is power only when you use it.  The more information you know about your surgeon and surgery, the more likely your chances of having a successful operation.  If a company claims to have the best plastic surgeons “database,” find out everything you can about the company.  Does the company specialize in researching only the best doctors?  Remember, there are many web sites: anyone can have a doctor database.  The question is, do doctors pay to be listed in their database?  Do they actually research every single doctor?  Is the company a credible source?

Where are the best plastic surgeons located?

Nowadays, you find them in the smallest to the biggest cities.  The five most popular states where plastic surgeons practice are Florida, New York, California, Texas, and Illinois.     

 

What should I look for when shopping for a plastic surgeon?

Tips on what to look for when shopping for a plastic surgeon?

  • Always make sure the surgeon is an MD who is a board-certified plastic surgeon

  • Find out if the surgeon is fellowship trained in plastic surgery or in a field relevant to their current specialty.

  • Spas and Salons are spreading like wild fire…use caution and research your plastic surgeon thoroughly.    

  • Go to Google and type the plastic surgeon’s name.  Search for surgeons that pioneered a surgical procedure, wrote publications, taught Med students, etc.  Often times, this information is displayed online.  

  • How many years of practice does the plastic surgeon have under their belt?

How do I select the best plastic surgeon for me?

Many services and even magazines often times list the best doctors according to surveys conducted.  Their surveys are usually based on doctors who are voted by their peers.  Though it’s a good starting point, it’s only one component in finding the best plastic surgeons.

 Here’s why: 

  • Surgeons are extremely busy and rarely participate in these types of surveys, so results are limited.
  • Surgeons can nominate their buddies and ask them to return the favor, to attract new clientele.
  • Some surgeons are asked to nominate one of their peers in a certain area only.
What are the 4 Critical Components in finding the best plastic surgeons?
  • Education – They earned a degree from an accredited medical school.
  • Experience – How many cosmetic surgeries have they performed?
  • Recognition – Are they well recognized among their peers, patients, and medical societies,and/or involved in their communities?
  • Training – Does their residency and/or if fellowship focus on plastic surgery?

 

Bottom line:
When having plastic surgery you will be looking at your surgeons work for the rest of your life.  Doing a little homework could be a wisely investment.

 

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Doctor Background Check

Why check a doctor's background?
We all want the best possible surgeon or physician when it comes to our healthcare. We know all
physicians and surgeons do not have the same training and experience, especially in today's advanced medical health-care environment. No doctor will tell you outright whether he/she
has been disciplined or had one or more malpractice judgments issued against him/her.
The only way to find out, is to ask or research the surgeon or physician yourself.

Free Doctor Information
Is there such a thing as free doctor information? Absolutely; you can find free doctor information
by contacting your state medical board or by browsing online. The question is, how much
information can you get for free and how accurate will it be? Most state medical boards do
not charge; however, most (if not all) offer limited background information on doctors. Very
few establishments (less than a handful) specialize in providing information relating to
doctor's credentials. That's why it's important to find out how credible the company is, and what type of doctor-related information they offer.

Doctors' Credentials
Just by looking at a doctor's credentials will not guarantee you will receive high quality health care. However, you can use several important criteria to find an experienced well-trained
physicians or surgeon.

Tips:

  • If your are looking for a specialist, make sure he/she is board-certified in his/her respective field of specialty.
  • Make sure no disciplinary actions has been instituted.
  • Look closely at malpractice judgments, and how many have been brought against the practitioner (more than three is not good)
  • Find out if he/she is fellowship-trained in their specialty field. This-is usually a good sign.
  • Look for hospital affiliations or membership affiliations; the more there are, the better.
  • Physician or surgeon has been practicing medicine five years or more.
  • Research to see if they have teaching responsibilities at any hospitals etc.
  • Look for a physician or surgeon who has been practicing medicine for five years or more.
  • Research to see if they have teaching responsibilities at any hospitals or other medical institutions
  • Find out how much of the physician's practice focuses on the medical condition/surgery you request.
  • Find out if the physician/surgeon has any awards, or is involved in his/her community.

Research a Doctor
How do I research a doctor? The Internet is loaded with many sites which claim to have information about doctors' credentials information. And yes, most of them do; however,
you want to make sure you get more than just a doctor's license number and contact
information. For more comprehensive information, consider contacting the following sources.

  • Your local library
  • Your state medical board
  • The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty boards.
  • The medical society relevant to your intended physician or surgeon's field of specialty.
  • American Medical Association , if a member

Bottom line
Every physician or surgeon has a different background of experience and training. The more research you conduct into this background, the more it will increase your chances of finding
a health-care provider who will satisfy your medical needs.

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