People will always rely on their doctors for their healthcare guidance. However, if your doctor has faced a lawsuit for medical malpractice, that trust may be misplaced. There are a few primary ways to discover this, simply by looking at public records available online.
High rates of malpractice claims against doctors
According to Forbes, 75% of low-risk specialty doctors, such as dermatologists and psychiatrists, have faced a medical malpractice lawsuit. Compare that to the 99% of high-risk specialty doctors, such as surgeons and pediatricians, with a medical malpractice suit in their history. The high likelihood of a lawsuit is one reason that doctors carry malpractice insurance.
While a malpractice lawsuit in the past does not mean your doctor has necessarily done anything wrong with your care, it can cause concern.
Red flags for your doctor
The signs that your doctor may not be as trustworthy as you believe are subtle, but you can find them if you look closely. If you’ve decided to research your doctor’s malpractice history, you may find:
- Multiple lawsuits
- Sealed settlements
- Disciplinary actions by medical boards
- Negative reviews online
If instances of concern crop up regularly in your doctor’s history, it makes sense to consider how your doctor has handled your health.
Advocate for your healthcare
The bottom line is that you must stay informed of who you work with and their history. If your doctor has a checkered past, you should have that information available. What you do with that information is up to you.
However, if you feel like your healthcare isn’t a priority for your doctor or believe their opinion on your medical care isn’t correct, you should advocate for yourself. Demand second opinions; get follow-up appointments; ensure that your diagnoses are accurate because if your medical provider is continuing with an established pattern of malpractice, it’s better to know early on than suffer from a medical mistake.
And if you end up injured as a part of your doctor’s negligence, you can take action.