You may need to find a new doctor and it’s not as simple as doing a search on Google. Even though the vast majority of people will turn to the internet for health information, you want to make sure that you have an experienced medical professional you can turn to.
It would make sense to run a check on your doctor’s medical background. About a third of doctors have been sued for medical malpractice. You want to make sure that you have a doctor that has a clean record and doesn’t have a track record of harming patients.
Are you ready to find out how you can conduct a medical background check before you choose a doctor?
Read on to find out.
What to Look for in a Doctor
Finding a doctor is likely to start with an online search or a referral. That will give you some basic information about a doctor. This is a good place to start to narrow down your options, then once you have a few names, you can then do a medical background check to make your final determination.
Here’s what you need to know as you narrow down your list.
Know What You Need in a Doctor
You may know that you need a doctor, but need to narrow down why. Perhaps you want a general practitioner that you can turn to for general care. Then you’ll need a primary care practitioner.
You may need to get a specialist like a chiropractor or a physical therapist to take care of you. You might need a doctor to perform Lasik surgery.
Don’t forget that you want a doctor that’s aligned with your values. For example, you may value a doctor that emphasizes natural health solutions, as opposed to giving pills away like candy.
You may value a doctor that will spend time with you and get to understand your needs instead of rushing in and rushing out to treat the next patient.
Finally, you want a doctor that’s convenient for you. That might mean finding a doctor that’s close to home or your office, has easy parking options or has hours that work with your schedule.
Check Their Online Presence
Initially, you want to check to see how they present themselves online. Is their website up to date? Are there reviews online?
You’ll want to read those reviews as they’ll help you narrow down your list.
Information Relevant to Your Condition
Are you looking for a doctor to treat a specific condition? You’ll want to make sure that the doctor has the experience and expertise in treating your specific issues. Look to see if they have had any papers published about treating your condition, as that will inspire confidence that they will be able to help you.
Any published papers will give you insight as to how they plan to treat your condition.
You want to see how long the doctor has been practicing medicine, and whether or not they recently specialized their practice. They may have started out as a general practitioner and then switched to a specialization.
A lot of experience doesn’t necessarily mean that is a good thing. If they’ve been practicing for a long time and they’re close to retirement age, they may retire or sell their practice.
That would leave you without a doctor and having to start your search over again. You want to make sure that you have a doctor that’s going to stick around as you get older.
Do They Take Your Insurance?
One of the biggest concerns that you’re likely to have is whether or not they take your insurance. Most doctors will have that information on their website.
You’ll want to double-check with your insurance carrier to make sure that there weren’t any changes, especially if the doctor’s website hasn’t been updated in a while.
Conducting a Medical Background Check
At this point in the process, you should have a few names of doctors that fit with your values, have good reviews, and are convenient to get to. Now it’s time to do further research with the medical background check.
Start with a Criminal Check
At the very least, you want to be sure that your doctor doesn’t have a criminal record. You’ll want to check at the county and state level to make sure that they have a clean criminal record.
You can also conduct a national search if your doctor appears to have practiced in several different states.
Verify Their Credentials
In many states, doctors are required to take continuing education credits to keep their credentials. Continuing medical education (CME) requirements will vary from state to state. You’ll want to verify the requirements with your state’s medical board and verify the doctor’s medical credentialing.
Most state boards will give you information about that practitioner’s license, such as any marks against their record or if the doctor in question has kept their license up to date.
The doctor’s website is likely to list a series of credentials, certifications, and where they went to medical school. You’ll want to check with each organization to make sure that the information on the doctor’s site is accurate and up to date.
Choosing the Right Doctor
You may not realize it, but there’s a lot at stake when you’re picking a new doctor. Unfortunately, there are some doctors who have faced medical malpractice or haven’t kept their credentials up to date.
When you pair your online search with a medical background check, you’re bound to have a doctor that is competent, and has a clean record, and will give you the care that you deserve.
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