How to Choose a Good Doctor

Greg Boles
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Partner at The Boles Firm | Experience Matters

How do you choose a good doctor?  As with lawyers, you can always check the doctors' reputation on Google.  You also want to find out whether the doctor is a quack. Avoid doctors who provide excessive treatment, recommend medical treatment that is not generally accepted in the medical community, and diagnose you with a long laundry list of problems when you've come with a specific condition.  Also remember that if your doctor has a poor reputation among workers' compensation judges, your case will be hurt.

While it is not always true, in general physicians associated with teaching hospitals have excellent reputations.  Doctors who regularly write and perform research on the condition you are suffering from are a good bet.  For more information, see chapter 4 of my FREE book, The Wounded Worker: Inside the Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Maze. It's your body, so make sure that you get the best treatment you possibly can.

Here are useful links to sites that provide information about physicians:

AMA DoctorFinder. This list provides basic information about physicians, such as whether they are board-certified.

Castle Connolly. According to the website, “the top doctors who are listed in our books and on this website's directory were nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of American doctors each year. These Top Doctors' medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories - and much more - are screened by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team. Those doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory.”  You can search this site for a wide array of information, including a physicians’ education, professional certifications, licensure, disciplinary actions, malpractice claims and patient ratings.

Physician Compare. Information about physicians who accept Medicare.  Ratings based on reviews by patients on topics like staff, punctuality, and knowledge, with links to medical board records. Patients can post questions and comments about doctors.  Another useful patient rating site.

U.S. News & World Report.  Basic information about doctors with no patient ratings.

Pennsylvania Professional Disciplinary Actions The Pennsylvania Department of State provides licesnsing and disciplinary information about professionals, including phsicians.