October 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Is your doctor Board-Certified?
Are you aware you can check this as every state in the USA has a government website available for you to check.
From this you can research the doctor’s educational background along with their academic achievements, hospital privileges, Board-Certifications as well as any disciplinary actions within the last ten years.
All state governments have a website to check on your prospective doctor. In Florida just type; fla state medical license check. From there enter the doctors name it’s always a good idea to do a five minute check ahead of time to get good quality care.
If a medical doctor graduates from medical school with No Fellowships (specialties) there medical education stopped the day they left medical school and after their residencies.
To make sure you are getting good quality care five minutes of your time will be more than worth it.
I would strongly advise that you Never see a specialist who is not Board-Certified in their chosen specialty. This certification shows that the physician has had continuing education and is up on the latest treatment protocols. What works and what isn’t so rather then spending months and getting no good results or becoming sicker and possible progressing to a terminal state or worse. It’s always better to check out & verify you have chosen the best you can find in your area who will also accept your insurance.
You can also find out if your prospective physicians is what is called in the trade a “Procedural Doctor” not a good sign. If you are admitted hospitals will and do refer their inpatients to Non-Board Certified doctors. Some Gastroenterologists are known for this, your doctors history might show that they have hospital privileges at 3 or more hospitals. Many are not Board-Certified, their income is made by performing procedures not seeing patients at their practice. Many who have outdated medial education more bad signs.
Procedural Doctors take a little more research however this can be easily done. You can check on their practice and how many patients they see annually, low numbers are a cause for concern.
If you find a Procedural Doctor, promptly turn around and head the other way.
This is also why I strongly Advise that if possible have a Patient Advocate if you spend anytime even just hours at a facility. If educated just minimally they can remember to ask questions and watch out for you during your stay. Everyone is thrown a little off guard by hospital and medical settings so an Advocate is worth their weight in gold.
How many malpractice claims has the physician had more than 2 or 3 in ten years is a cause for concern. Where did they go to medical school, where did they do their Fellowship (specialty training) or residency. How many Academic appointments have they received? Are they affiliated with a teaching hospital or university (A Very Big Plus!).
During most occurrences you will be able to ask the hospital what specialist they are referring you to and whether they are Board-Certified? If they are not you have the right to ask the question, refuse that doctor and ask for only a Board-Certified doctor. This will not create a delay in your care however it will provide for a more thorough productive procedure with better treatment protocols and in the end a healthier patient. You are paying for this adventure Please be prepared have a friend act as your advocate if needed.
Your advocate should have the time available to spend 8-10hrs a day with you. Having an advocate involved will Greatly Benefit and Enhance your stay which should produce a more promising outcome to a stressful experience. If your dressings are not being changed, your medications are not being distributed in a timely manner, etc. All of these situations can be tactfully handled by your Patient Advocate. Believe it or not I was hospitalized with a condition that affects over 5 million American citizens per year. Yet I had to call and instruct their dietetic staff on what foods I should not be given among other aspects. Even after speaking with their dietetic staff they still immediately sent me food that would only have made my condition deteriorate and potentially worsen via additional infections (Bezoars). Again this occurred after they were instructed on the proper diet for the condition. This was a large urban hospital in one of the largest metropolitan areas of the USA. It took them a full 3 days to finally get my diet correctly addressed and this was No Exotic condition 5 million US citizens suffer from this annually yet it took a Major metropolitan hospital 3 days to feed a patient the proper food, Unbelievable but True.
Trust me from real life experiences a Board-Certified physician and a Patient Advocate can prove to be a real life saver if you are hospitalized.
Learn to research via easily accessible Internet resources take notes before your doctor’s visit. In today’s world of medicine 5-10 minute doctor visits Do Not Provide comprehensive medical treatment. Just because someone has graduated medical school does not make them GOD, so don’t expect them to be, ask questions, get a second opinion.
Educate yourself and those that you might call upon during a medical emergency.
While medicine has found outstanding cures and treatments for various diseases in recent history. Medicine along with the patient care on the whole in the last 15-20 years has fallen dangerously low on the tree for which patients suffer the consequences. There are now many doctor’s practicing who are in fact Dangerous. However as many of you possibly have experienced physicians will not speak the truth about their colleagues (they never do). It is Your job to educate yourself and those that you love, if you fail to do so it will be at your own peril or possibly a loved one or child.
Be assertive ask questions and be ready to say NO or to point out poor medical care. While even at the hospital you have the right to call for the Attending Physician (doctor on duty) to voice your concerns. You the patient have Rights, exercise them believe it or not many hospitals will respond appropriately to an assertive patient or Patient Advocate. More often than not you will receive better care then the patient who allows themselves to be treated like livestock at a farm.
Also be aware that numerous tests are performed only to protect the doctor and have nothing to do with your medical condition, treatment or outcome. If you are being scheduled for a test ask what it has to do with you care. On the other hand are you aware of the thousands of Perfectly Good Gall Bladders that are removed daily because physician fail to perform a simple HIDA exam to confirm their diagnosis. Often many doctors do not perform this non-invasive procedure. Patients then endure an invasive surgical procedure as well as having the possibility of a Post-Op infection kill them or contribute to the deterioration of their condition, all because a licensed medical professional failed to do their job. Ask questions, during a recent stay myself over two days I requested over ten times to be weighed. This was because of the fact that I was to be anesthetized and the anesthesiologist needs this important information as it is Crucial. Even though I continually tried to get my weight charted this never occurred, why, well I truly have no answer. Someone however entered false data on a medical chart and even after notifying the hospital of this no action whatsoever was taken. Because of this failure to get my proper weight charted I was Over-Anesthetized with propofol an Excellent medication, the patient goes under quite easily and comes out very cleanly. After this procedure this was not the case it took the staff over 20-25 minutes to bring me back around. This after only 2 months earlier the same procedures were done with the same medication from which I awoke Extremely lucid with little or no adverse reactions. It’s also of note that the Non-Board-Certified physician had performed 2 procedures of which only 1 was actually needed. However the doctor was a Procedural Doctor, more procedures equal more money in his pocket. This was verified by a practicing specialist of over 25 years with impeccable credentials who was utterly amazed at what had occurred.
Also remember the saying, ” If there isn’t a picture it didn’t happen”. In medicine, ” If it isn’t Charted it didn’t happen” if there is a problem with your care make sure it is CHARTED. Otherwise it did not happen.
I will be writing more postings on the state of medicine in the coming days that hopefully someone will find useful.
Do your research, Ask questions prepare for the worst that hopefully will never occur. I am not advocating for anyone to become paranoid or obsessive only to use a few minutes on the Internet to become a better educated patient who will receive excellent care during a trying, stressful experience. In the end you or a loved one will be better served for just a few minutes of research.
I only hope for the best outcome for you or a loved during your medical care and experiences.
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