Researching Florida Doctors: A How-To Guide
If you are injured as a result of medical negligence, we are here to help you, but we would certainly rather you avoid that situation in the first place. You may be able to do so by checking your Florida doctor’s medical malpractice history before allowing him or her to treat you. In this article, we’ll tell you how.
Resources for patients to look up Florida doctors
There are several resources available online that are open to the public. These are listed below.
- Florida Department of Health (medical license lookup) – The DOH website has access to a search engine that allows you to look up your doctor’s license. This information can be useful in confirming that your doctor does, in fact, have a license to practice medicine in Florida.
- Florida Department of Health (physician profile) – The DOH website also has physician profiles that provide you with information that the physician themselves has reported. None of the information on the site is verified by the State of Florida, but you can find information concerning where the physician went to school, where they completed their residency, and what board certifications they have.
- Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (paid malpractice claims or MPL claims) – This site offers information concerning paid claims for medical or other forms of malpractice. Doctors and insurance providers are required by law to provide information concerning malpractice claims to the Office of Insurance Regulation.
How accurate are these resources?
The lack of negative information will not be evidence that your doctor is competent, and, unfortunately, even excellent doctors commit malpractice. However, the presence of negative information should give you pause. The database which holds information on medical malpractice claims only includes claims that were paid out by insurance. It does not include pending claims, cases dismissed on technicalities (such as the statute of limitations), and most importantly, claims paid by the physician out of their own pocket as opposed to claims paid via medical malpractice insurance. The database also excludes disciplinary actions from hospitals, claims that the insurance company or doctor failed to report, or claims that are barred by sovereign immunity at teaching hospitals or university hospitals.
How should you use these resources?
Medical malpractice does happen and it’s not always indicative of the overall quality of care that the physician renders to patients. Meanwhile, the lack of medical malpractice claims against the doctor could be an indication that they don’t have malpractice insurance. So, while you’re researching your doctors, understand that the system isn’t perfect, and neither is your doctor. However, multiple claims against the same doctor alleging the same problems could be an indication of professional competency issues and such a doctor would be best avoided.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can recover damages related to your injuries.