Choosing the right doctor can be an important first step in protecting yourself from becoming a victim of medical mistakes.
Follow the steps below to find the right doctor for you.
- Start by getting recommendations from friends, family, a nurse, or a trusted physician.
- Check to see if the doctor is affiliated with the top hospitals in your area. For an initial list of potential physician candidates, call the top hospitals in your area and ask for the names of physicians who practice at the hospital in the specialty you are looking for.
- Verify that the physician is board certified in the medical specialty that you need. You can verify a physician’s board specialties through the hospital, your insurance plan, or by visiting the website of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Board certification means that the doctor has completed of at least three years of training in a specific filed after medical school and has passed an exam.
- Check the physician’s credentials online by visiting the website of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, the organization that is responsible to oversee licensed physicians in Louisiana at www.lsbme.org.
- Avoid doctors who have had complaints filed against them at the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. You can find this information at the Board’s website, www.lsbme.org.
- Once you have compiled a short list of candidates, check with your insurance plan to make sure the doctor is approved as a participating physician. If you participate in a managed care plan, you can verify the physician’s credentials with your managed care company.
- Once you have narrowed your search down to one or two physcians, you should also call the doctor’s office and make sure they are taking new patients. You will also want to verify that the physician has experience in treating your specific medical condition.
- If the doctor meets your qualifications, you will also want to know the office hours, how easy it is to get an appointment and how you can reach the doctor during an emergency.
There are several websites containing information regarding physician credentials and quality information, including:
- Healthcare Compare
- Consumers CheckBook
- America's Top Doctors
- American Board of Medical Specialties
Contact a New Orleans Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you'd like to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney, please contact Harrell & Nowak, serving the greater New Orleans area.