Choosing a Reputable Physician
When a person is hurt in a crash or other injury incident, finding and obtaining competent medical care is crucial to making a good recovery and critical to presenting a credible claim for compensation. As a result, some lawyers may be tempted to refer clients to physicians with whom they have developed a relationship. Lawyer referrals to medical professionals for compensation, and medical professional referrals to lawyers for compensation, not only constitute bad practice, but in most all circumstances are unethical. Accordingly, our firm does not make physician referrals.
We do however provide a list of things to consider when selecting a physician. First, evaluate the physician’s attitude and attitude of his/her staff. Is it compatible with your personality? Does the physician make patient communication a priority? Are patients respected? Does the physician take the time to listen to the patient? Are patients encouraged to ask questions? Good communication will improve your patient/doctor relationship and help you trust the decisions you make together regarding your health care.
Second, your physician’s credentials are important to check to make sure your physician is competent to care for you. All physicians must be licensed in the state where they practice. Check your physician’s license with Indiana’s Physician Licensing Board. Is your physician board certified? The requirements for board certification are set by colleagues and peers and vary by specialty. This can include the number of years in school, fellowship programs, areas of practice, and sometimes continued education. Other questions to consider are: Where did the physician go to medical school? Where did he complete his residency? How old is she? How long has the physician been in practice? What hospitals is she affiliated with? By doing your homework you can ensure that the physician you select to guide your medical care is responsible and will provide you with the best resources to manage your healthcare.
Third, it is important to determine your physician’s malpractice track record. Check with Indiana’s Compensation Fund to see whether your physician has any malpractices claims against him or her. Our firm has successfully sued physicians in Indiana who have breached the standard of care and compromised their patient’s safety. If you think you may have a claim against your physician, contact our office to speak with an attorney for advice. However, the goal of every person in selecting a physician is to steer clear of those who have been found guilty of malpractice. Statistically, almost all instances of malpractice are associated with a very small percentage of physicians, and involve repeat offenses.
Finally, be considerate of your physician’s time, and plan ahead for your next appointment. Keep your appointments. Be on time for your appointments. Call if you must reschedule an appointment. Write down your concerns and the reasons for your visit. Identify where you are having pain, but never exaggerate a complaint. Doing these things will both ensure that each of your questions will be answered and that the physician’s record of your visit will be accurate and complete. Ask your physician to explain terms you do not understand, and be sure he/she explains the next step in your care and treatment. For example, if a test is ordered, ask who you should contact for the results. Ask about the plan of treatment. If you are anxious or afraid, explain your concerns and ask for guidance. Knowing what the plan is will ease your anxiety when dealing with complicated medical issues and treatment.
In short, many of the things to consider when selecting a physician are similar to what should be considered in selecting a lawyer which you can you learn more about by clicking here.