Friday, May 13, 2016

How to Avoid Risky Doctors


As a Medical Malpractice attorney, friends and family are always asking me if their doctors are "good."  Internet sites that commonly come up on Google searches aren't much help.   Sites like Yelp, which include reviews of doctors, don't do a good job of calling attention to doctors' documented misconduct. Doctors who've admitted to sexually assaulting their patients, or botching procedures due to negligence, still score high on online review boards.

The truth is that most doctors are quite good.  A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF DOCTORS have accounted for most of the country's medical malpractice payouts over the last quarter century. That's according to an analysis done for Consumer Reports of the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal repository that has collected disciplinary actions and medical malpractice payouts since 1990.

Malpractice suits aren't necessarily an indication of  poor skills. Cases often settle before trial and without documented findings of wrongdoing. And even the best doctors and surgeons can sometimes face lawsuits. But when doctors have multiple large settlements against them, it can be a warning sign ... suggesting that if licensing boards and hospital peer reviewers were willing to either get these doctors to stop practicing or get retraining, we'd all be better off.

Certainly you can protect yourself and your loved ones by simply choosing another doctor if your current physician has multiple lawsuits, or disciplinary actions.

You can get information about your doctor from your State Government.  In New York go to New York State Physician Profile at http://www.nydoctorprofile.com/.  Although not as informative, you can search license status of other professionals at http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm#nme.

Consumer Reports ranks the New York Physician profile site second in the country. You can see the rankings at  http://consumersunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chart-website-review-CR-blobs-all-states-FINAL-4.pdf.

If you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to substandard care, we can help. Call the Sanders firm for a free consultation at 516-741-5252 or email us at tgoralski@thesandersfirm.com.

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