September 25, 2012

One effective way to reduce your risk of becoming the victim of medical malpractice is to do your research before agreeing to receive medical treatment from a particular doctor or a particular hospital. More and more states in the United States, and the federal government, are making information with regard to the quality of care being provided by local doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals readily available to the public in online data bases and websites accessible to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.

Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, and co-workers are also very effective methods of doing your “due diligence” to investigate which doctors and hospitals in your local area or region have “good reputations” and those that have “bad reputations” for the particular medical treatment or medical procedure that you may require.

And don’t forget to ask your primary care physician or a doctor that you or your family may know, even if he/she does not practice in the specific medical specialty that you need, regarding the professional reputation of your prospective doctor — doctors in the community often know the reputations of other doctors in the community, especially the “real good ones” and the “real bad ones.”

It is amazing that most of us will check out a new restaurant in our neighborhood with friends and co-workers who may have already tried the restaurant to get a review of the experience but we never even think about checking with friends and co-workers regarding a much more important decision: who will provide us, our spouses, and our children with life-sustaining medical care.

When you are an inpatient in a hospital, don’t just blindly accept medical services from a medical provider who has been assigned to your care by the hospital — ask questions regarding the medical provider’s experience, education, qualifications, prior outcomes for the medical services or procedures that you require, and alternative caregivers (compare the qualifications and reputations of all of those who are available to provide you the medical care or procedures that you need so that you can choose the best).

Asking the nurses taking care of you in the hospital may be a good start, but remember that many of them may not be completely honest with you about questionable (or worse) doctors and specialists because they do not want to risk their jobs and they fear that their comments to you may get back to the less-than-desirable doctor or specialist, thereby making their lives at work miserable.

Also, some very competent and some very incompetent doctors have nicknames in the hospital, in their communities, or among their colleagues that are very telling — try to find out your doctor’s nickname (in one hospital, a doctor was commonly referred to as “Dr. Hodad,” which stood for “hands of death and destruction,” because of the doctor’s terrible surgical skills).

If after you did your due diligence regarding your medical care you still experienced a medical mistake, hospital error, or some other act or omission that may be medical malpractice, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney to learn about what you can do to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses that resulted from someone else’s medical negligence or incompetence.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate. Or you may call us on our toll-free line: 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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