How to Find the Best Doctors and Hospitals
When your health is not the best, it is more important than you will ever know to find doctors and hospitals that will provide the best level of care that is available for you.
Unfortunately, few people know how to do this and even fewer will try because they are intimidated by the health care system.
If you make the wrong choice, doing so could ruin your life or possibly take it from you.
I have lived a long time and, as a result, have seen some horrible things that doctors and hospitals have done to patients.
For example :
- A young woman died while giving birth because her doctor was drunk and did not remove her oxygen mask when he should have done so. She vomited into it and choked to death!
- A man got a splinter in his foot. His doctor removed it and said not to worry about it. He died several months later from a massive, unstoppable infection that made him an amputee before he passed away.
- A patient had lung surgery. The doctor left a pair of scissors in his chest during the operation. It was Iocated in a delicate spot, so it could not be removed. He lived the rest of his life in pain as a result.
While it may seem that incidents like these are rare, the truth is that they happen fairly often.
Thus, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to find health care providers who are the best in their fields, have good credentials and are known to be successful in the care of their patients.
Some Things to Consider
The average person assumes that because someone carries the title “doctor” that he is as capable and talented as all other doctors
The truth is that half of the doctors in the country graduated in the lower 50% of their class.
Some individuals assume that because a doctor has a pleasant personality, that he is good at what he does. The truth is that a person’s personality has nothing to do with his level of training, his experience or his skill level. However, if you can find a person who has a good bedside manner and also has those other attributes, you've picked a winner!
The point is that you should never make assumptions about health care providers because doing so can create serious and long term problems for you.
Remember that half of all doctors graduated in the lower 50% of their class.
How to Know Which Doctor Is the Best
The way to learn about doctors is to do some research and try to find those who meet the following criteria:
A top notch family doctor should be
- well educated,
- easy to access,
- willing and able to refer you to the best specialists,
- knowledgeable about prescription drugs and their side effects and
- willing to take the time to understand your specific situation so that he can treat you properly.
In addition, should you need to use a surgeon, make sure you find out
- how long he's been practicing,
- where he went to school,
- what his success rate is,
- how well his patients do following surgery,
- what his hospital affiliations are and
- how many surgeries he performs each year of the kind you need.
Since you generally will pay the same amount of money no matter which doctor you choose, there is no reason to not use one who will provide the best and safest level of care for you.
Hospital Choices Are Important, Too
Most of what I just said about doctors is also true of hospitals.
Some simply are better than others, and the one you choose should be the best that is available to you.
It is extremely important to choose one that has
- a low infection rate,
- is known for cleanliness,
- good success rates,
- good levels of care,
- a good nursing staff to patient ratio and
- affiliates with the best doctors.
Choose Providers With Strong Anti-Infection Protocols
Hospital staffers and doctors don’t mean to harm patients, but
- limited and ever changing staffs,
- poor training and
- increased paperwork often make it difficult not to do so.
Therefore, choosing health care providers who take extra steps to protect you, especially from infections, is extremely important.
There was a time when hospitals did not have to report their infection rates, but now you can learn about them with simple internet searches.
You can also ask your doctor what steps he takes to lower infection rates in his office or simply observe to his protocols.
For example, my family doctor
- keeps a bottle of germicidal lotion right at his office's front desk,
- keeps toilet seat covers in his bathrooms,
- posts a sign offering masks to any patients who come in with contagious diseases and
- makes his nurse wear latex gloves while giving shots.
These may seem to be insignificant things, but they are not. Furthermore, they show that my doctor is doing all he can to protect me.
Yours should be doing the same!
Where to Find The Info You Need
There are a number of resources you can use for learning about the doctors and hospitals in your local area.
- Medicare.gov offers information via physician compare and hospital compare, but they are tricky to navigate.
- Hospitalsafetyscore.org is much easier to use and offers clear, understandable information.
- healthgrades.com is also very easy to use for finding information on both doctors and hospitals. It also includes patient referral information.
- Docinfo.org will allow you to search for malpractice and other information about doctors nationwide for a small fee. It's especially useful if you are facing a surgery.
In addition to doing internet searches about doctors you may want to use, you would be wise to
- your primary care doctor,
- any doctor you already use and trust,
- the staff of a doctor you may wish to use,
- therapists who work on patients for specific doctors and
- previous patients of a doctor who provided services to them if you can get doctors' office people to provide them with your phone number so that they can call you if they agree to do so.
Your Health Is Worth Fighting For
The truth is that these days you have to fight for your health.
This means finding out all you can about the doctors and hospitals you may want or need to use so whatever problem you have can be fixed, not exacerbated.
As with all professions, there are both good and bad who offer services.
This is why it’s so important to use any resources you can think of to learn about those who will be treating you.
Doing this is a lot of work and may mean traveling a bit farther to access get the help you need, but your health and your life are worth this effort.
I have known a good number of people who didn't want to be bothered. Many of them have suffered horribly or died as a result.
Don’t be those people. Be the person who
- finds the best doctors and hospitals,
- gets good care,
- suffers less
- and lives longer.
Do you think taking the time to find the best doctors and hospitals is worthwhile?
© 2016 Dreamworker