We devoted Sunday’s show to helping you select the right surgeon to best suit your needs. We’ve compiled the list of the 12 most important questions to ask when searching for a great surgeon.
1. Ask your medical doctor who they have used or would use for family and themselves.
2. Is the surgeon part of their medical group (they might have a direct or indirect financial relationship with that surgeon.)
3. If you know any doctors personally other than the one who referred you to the surgeon, ask them their opinion of surgeons they would recommend.
4. If you know others who have had the same operation, ask them if they were happy with their surgeon and why. Did they have the outcome they had anticipated?
5. If you know any nurses, ask them who they’d recommend at the hospital where they work. No one knows better than a nurse how a surgeon treats and manages their patients and who has the best outcomes and happiest, most satisfied patients.
6. Find out if they are board-certified in their specialty by the ABMS.
7. Look up the surgeon’s credentials, c.v. and find out if they have held any medical staff positions at their hospital, been involved in any local or national organizations indicating respect among peers.
8. Find out if they have ever been sanctioned. This is available on the internet on sites such as http://www.Vitals.com .
9. Find out at which hospitals they operate and ask others who have been hospitalized there how their experience was.
10. You can view MD rating websites but don’t give them too much credence. One angry patient (and there are many reason besides bad medical treatment that can make a patient angry) and the rating may be way off. The same goes for an overly-positive rating too, from a “cheerleader.” Take these ratings with a grain of salt.
11. Meet the surgeon who fits the bill. Is he/she attentive to what you tell them about your problem? Do they take time to examine you and review your studies? Do they spend time explaining your problem to you and explain why they have chosen the treatment they recommend? Do they explain the procedure fully and explain the risks in detail. Do they answer all your questions fully? Why do they work at the hospital where they are admitting you? Do they have a surgical team they work with? Do they perform the surgery themselves? Do they care for you personally or do they have residents or physician’s assistants take care of you after the surgery? Do you like them? Do they like you?
12. What impression do you have of the doctor’s office staff? Will they be responsive and easy to reach? Are they helpful to you in setting up your surgery and making sure everything is in order before the surgery?
If you answer to these questions are mostly positive then you have found the right doctor for you.
For more, listen to the Podcast here.