How To Check Out Your Doctor’s History
Just 1% of Florida’s doctors are responsible for 32% of the state’s medical malpractice claim. How, you may wonder, are these doctors permitted to continue practicing medicine? Well, unfortunately, Florida does not discipline doctors very often. Most of the time, medical doctors are regulated by either medical boards or their patients. The burden is therefore on the patient to do their due diligence and research their doctor’s history. The question is: How do you do that? Well, it can be difficult, even for attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice claims. Nonetheless, there are some information sources that may have current information.
The American Medical Association manages a database with relevant information concerning doctors. Here, you can find basic information concerning their specialty, credentials, medical school, and where they performed their residency. This information may or may not be current or complete. Nonetheless, it will at least provide you with information that your doctor is certified to practice medicine in your state. This is about the best information you can find from an official source.
Another source of similar information can be found at DocInfo.org. The information provided by this site does not, however, meet credentialing standards. You can also give your state’s licensing board a call.
While the federal government operates a database listing every disciplinary incident or severe medical malpractice claim against the doctor, the general public cannot access this information, only hospitals can. Attorneys can subpoena the information if it’s related to a case. In that case, a judge may be required to sign off on the request. Some information can be found on the NCQA website. The website lists “grades” for doctors, but the chances of your doctor having a grade are low.
Lastly, court records will provide any evidence of claims filed against a particular doctor. But this often requires a good deal of research and not all of the information that is available to lawyers or hospitals is available to the public.
The Bottom Line
The best place to research doctors does not involve AMA or government databases. Online reviews can provide good information concerning former patients and their treatment by the doctor. You can also search for the doctor online. In cases of serious medical malpractice, you may be able to find an article or a low rating for reviews. Chances are, if a doctor is not well-liked by the majority of his patients, he may have a number of malpractice claims against him.
Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable upon your first meeting with your doctor, be advised to trust your instincts. While not every doctor who gives you a bad vibe will have a long history of medical malpractice claims, communication between doctor and patient is the single most important factor in the majority of the claims that make it to court.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez can litigate the case on your behalf. Call today to schedule a free consultation.