What Are Some Important Questions I Should Ask My Primary Care Physician?

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

I know my blog has focused a lot of that happens AFTER medical malpractice occurs, particularly claims, how to prove them, case samples, and what to do. But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And I have had a few posts discussing that, particularly about researching doctors and asking them tough decisions. But I haven’t focused on one of the most important doctors—the primary care physician. This is essentially your family doctor, the doctor you trust with almost all of your initial health concerns. Now do note that these questions could also be extrapolated and asked to a pediatrician as well.

The first and most important question to ask ANY doctor is if they are board certified. At this point, because of the nature of board tests at the end of medical school, most doctors nowadays are board certified; it’s actually mandatory at some medical schools. If you have a doctor who is not board certified, that is a major problem and might be for a reason. I would advise avoiding these doctors!

Another important question is whether the doctor takes care of patients in the hospital. This shows how involved the physician is in his or her patients. A “yes” is not a necessary answer here, but it does do to show that if the physician will go to great lengths to see patients in the hospital, getting an appointment at the last minute should be easier to do because the physician will be more willing. A good follow-up question would be to see how many patients are in the hospital.

Another obvious question would be what the physician’s after hours and weekend availability is. This is because, hey, we don’t plan when we get sick! We more willing the physician is to meet with you outside of normal hours, the better care you will likely get overall.

The last and most important question is finding out where else the physician has practiced. You can ask where the physician has previously practiced, and then look it up at www.docinfo.org. This is because a physician could lose their license in one state and, while other states should and likely will consider that disciplinary action, they might not! You can also check the disciplinary history of a physician at www.nydoctorprofile.com.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.