By Digenis Plastic Surgery Institute | www.digenis.com
Before selecting a physician for treatment, it’s important that we do research about that physician. In the age of social media, online research is readily accessible. Reading posted reviews is a good preliminary start in reviewing a physician’s past history, including, but not limited to, board sanctions, medical malpractice issues, etc. Look at healthgrades.com, vitals.com or ratemd.com for these reviews. Patient satisfaction scores are available on these sites, as well as essential education and training information.
“It is important for all patients to ask, and feel comfortable asking, certain questions when they are selecting a physician for treatment,” says Emily Digenis, Chief Financial Officer of Digenis Plastic Surgery.
Here are the 5 general questions that one should ask a physician before seeking treatment:
- Has the doctor, or anyone in the office, ever been sanctioned? It’s important to know if anyone in the office has ever been threatened with a penalty against their medical license.
- Is the doctor Board Certified to practice medicine? If so, in what field? Many physicians can, and will, conduct certain procedures outside their realm of specialty. For example, countless physicians who are not board certified in the field of plastic surgery are performing liposuction or other related procedures nonetheless. Just because they have a license to practice medicine does not ensure they are properly trained in performing select procedures.
- Has the doctor, or anyone in the office, been convicted of malpractice? While you may seem reluctant to ask a physician this question face to face, websites like www.healthgrades.com and other related websites, will provide you with board sanctions. You can also find this information by visiting the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure or the Medical Board of Indiana.
- Does the physician maintain privileges with the hospital within your insurance plan? Because of insurance limitations, it’s necessary to know which hospital the doctor maintains privileges in as certain procedures may not be covered if performed at out-of-network facilities.
- How many procedures has the physician performed in their specialty? This is another great way to find out whether this physician is board certified in the procedure about which you have inquired. While it may sound impressive that a physician has 20 years of experience as a practitioner, what’s more important is knowing how many procedures they have performed annually, particularly as it relates to a specialized area of practice.