Do Your Homework Before Seeing a Doctor

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It's always wise to do some research before choosing a new doctor. Part of this should be finding out if he or she has ever been sued for malpractice. A medical malpractice suit doesn't always need to be cause for concern. It depends on the details. The propensity for lawsuits varies significantly based on physicians' specialties. So where do you get this and other information about disciplinary actions against a doctor?

Every state has a licensing board. The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners lists doctors who have had disciplinary actions taken against them since 1988 and provides details about those actions.

You can also find out about any lawsuits against a doctor through the local county clerk's office. There's also the good old Google search. Just search things like the doctor's name with words like "malpractice suit."

If you find a malpractice suit in a doctor's history, it's not necessarily cause for concern. Get the details. Almost two-thirds of these suits are dismissed or dropped. Find out what the suit was for, the outcome of the action and if there's a pattern of errors.

If you're doing your research on a doctor, you're already taking a more proactive role in your health care than most people are. Of course, there are times when you or a loved one is in the hands of physicians and other medical professionals whom you've not been able to vet. Emergency room situations are a good example.

Further, serious and even fatal medical errors can be committed by people other than attending physicians -- for example, anesthesiologists and nurses. That's why it's essential that those who believe that they or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice seek the advice and guidance of an experienced Nevada medical malpractice attorney.

Source: Forbes, "Does Your Doctor Have Malpractice Claims? How To Find Out," Nichole Bazemore, April 19, 2016

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