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Think back to your days in school. What were the other students like in terms of academics? You probably saw a few who were at the top of the class: they were smart, studied hard, and did well. You also saw others who seemed to learn the material, get decent grades, and have success. But for each successful student you also saw some who merely scraped by, who didn’t have a firm grasp on the material, and didn’t seem to apply themselves all that much to learning. In short, you understood that every class included a spectrum of students, with some doing well, some doing poorly, and in the middle.

We all understand that in any academic endeavor–and ultimately in the professions that these students enter–there are some who are very good at what they do and some who are not. However, we sometimes do not think about this when it comes to choosing a physician. Was your doctor at the top of the class or the bottom? Does he or she excel at the art of healing or merely just get by?

Understanding that there are good doctors and not so good doctors, following are some tips for identifying the best doctor possible to treat your medical condition.

Get a referral – Many people select a physician by randomly choosing among the physicians offered by their health insurance provider. This form of “Russian Roulette” is unlikely to yield the best doctor possible. A better way to find a good physician is to get a referral. Ask your family members, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for recommendations. It may not be long before you discover that the name of a particular doctor comes up again and again.

Rely on experience – As with any skill, experience matters. If you are going in for a particular treatment or type of surgery, do not be afraid to ask how often the doctor has performed that surgery. What is the success rate? How often do patients have complications? If your doctor does not have enough experience for your comfort, do not be afraid to for the name of some doctors who do.

Watch for good bedside manner – A good doctor-patient relationship involves a high degree of trust. For that reason, your doctor must be one that you get along with. Does he or she take the time to explain what is happening to you, answer your questions, and help you feel at ease? Or does your doctor seem rushed, agitated, and curt? If the doctor has a poor bedside manner it is more likely that he or she may miss important details about your life and your medical condition.

Check credentials – A doctor must pass medical school and become licensed before he or she can practice medicine. Do not be afraid to check his or her credentials. Find out where your doctor studied medicine. Determine whether he or she is in good standing in the eyes of the licensing board.

Getting Help When Your Doctor Has Caused You Harm

If you or a loved one has been injured while under the care of a medical professional, it is essential that you get answers to your questions by speaking with an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney. The personal injury lawyers at Goldstein and Hayes, P.C., have extensive experience helping people who have been harmed by the negligence of medical caretakers. We can answer your questions and help you hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.

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