How Do You Know If Your Doc Is Any Good?

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Pamela Neckpain
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 1/23/2009 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Doctors know ALL about us. We know really nothing of them. How do we get
the information? Our life or the quality of our life is in their hands. What to do?
Pamela Neckpain idea

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/24/2009 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I think part of it is how well you connect to them, as well as their behavior. Do they take the time to listen to you, to let you ask questions? Do they work with you? Are they concerned about your well being? Do they explain things well? Are they going to give up when things get tough, or keep fighting for you?

I believe that you can tell a lot about them & their abilities by your rapport with them. We all can certainly pick out a doc that is not so good, or full of himself right away. Often, their interpersonal skills can make you feel either comfortable or uncomfortable with them after only a few minutes. And then of course it always helps when they have a reputation for being both great people & great doctors. To me, it's not just their knowledge that matters, it's their attitude as well. I've been to a fair share of docs who were supposed to be excellent in their fields, but were either obnoxious or unpleasant as people & that alone made me never want to go back. No one wants a doctor with a God-complex.


Post Edited (skeye) : 1/23/2009 10:03:29 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/24/2009 12:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Surgeons scare me the most. It takes so long for the bad ones to get weeded out. I checked all the online sources before choosing the surgeon for my first surgery. I couldn't find anything negative about him. Fortunately the surgery went well but I learned afterwards that some of his practices were dangerous. He lost his operating privileges at 2 of the local hospitals less than 2 years after my surgery due to careless mistakes that ruined the lives of at least three patients that I know of. I only know the details because I met one of these patients. Her attorneys are expecting a 7 digit settlement but she just wants her health back.

This information is not public knowledge because of the settlement agreements so searching his records still allows him to appear as a good doctor.

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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/24/2009 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the best shot we're going to have is if we all start particiating in sites like and others that are adding doctor's to their list of people they evaluate. Right now, I think there are so few people adding their comments (in the rating scales, not on forums like this) that you tend to either get a lot of good or a lot of bad from just a few reports. But if most of us start doing it as a regular practice, I think it could start to influence doctors. This combined with checking for malpractice and other license violations (and you're right, Dagger, they're not always public), plus word of mouth of other patients are about the main tools we have.


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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/24/2009 1:21 AM (GMT -6)   
What I do is make a list of what's important for me with that type of doc. It really depends on what they are doing.

For a PM, I want someone who knows a lot about many treatments, will consider alternative treatments before more aggressive modern ones, meets with a lot of drug reps so he's familiar with the latest meds, is understanding & takes his time with patients, even if that means running late. It's also really important to me that the doctor is comfortable making recommendations. My own PM is willing to go either way. Most of his patients like making decisions b/c they feel like they're more in control, but he's willing to accommodate me, to a point, by giving me some guidance when I ask for it.

For surgeons, I look for different qualities. With them, I just want to know that they are realistic when describing the likely outcome of the surgery & that they are very, very good at the procedure. I really don't care if they have the personality of a brick, are short with me, make snap decisions or run out of the room after 5 minutes or less, but that is just me.

After I make a list of what's important, I look for as much information as I can on the internet, then call a couple offices with some of my most important questions and also ask if they have any literature that I could review. Then, I bring any remaining questions or concerns with me to my initial appointment.
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