It's important to know about the doctor providing your medical care and their safety record. Yet many Massachusetts health care consumers fail to ask these critical questions.
Whether you are seeing your primary care physician or a specialist, taking a few minutes to do your homework can help you steer clear of a physician with a checkered past or one who has seriously injured someone.
The good news is the information is just a few keystrokes away. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine offers Massachusetts consumers the Physician Profiles database right online. All you have to do is type in the name of your physician or the physician you want to see.
The database will provide the following information:
- How long the physician has been licensed in Massachusetts
- Whether the physician has made a medical malpractice payment in the past 10 years
- Whether the physician has had any criminal convictions in the past 10 years
- Whether the physician has been subject to hospital or board discipline
- Patient mortality rates
- The number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed against the doctor
- The dollar amount of medical malpractice payouts
Where Can I Find Other Information About My Doctor?
The Massachusetts physician database does not provide all the answers. Many feel consumers deserve more information. But it gives you a good start. After visiting the database, if you still have questions about your physician, searching the Internet for news articles may prove useful.
If a physician faced a criminal charge more than 10 years ago, there may be coverage on a local newspaper website. Some newspapers, such as The Boston Globe, may offer information in their archives. Between YouTube and local TV station websites, you may also find video footage or coverage transcriptions. Search for the doctor’s name along with Massachusetts "Board of Registration in Medicine" or "medical malpractice" or "lawsuit."
Patient reviews can offer a wealth of information and help you avoid making the wrong decision. Don't expect to read about treatment resulting in medical malpractice and injuries. These are usually handled in the courts or may be settled out of court.
When you read these reviews, try to determine whether the doctor you want to see is skilled and how long he or she has practiced medicine. Patients will often share their personal views as well, giving you a glimpse at whether the doctor and his office staff are trustworthy, ethical and reasonable. You want to work with a physician’s office which is committed to providing the highest level of patient care.
Finally, social media is another resource. Most medical practices now maintain social media pages where patients can leave reviews and comment on posts. After checking these, a simple search may lead you to your answer. Other times, you may need to learn how to use the site’s search tool to the fullest.
Using the Massachusetts Physician Profiles can help you stay informed at any point during your work with a doctor. Use it and share it with your family members so they have the information they need to protect themselves.
About Our Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The Boston law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in handling medical malpractice and personal injury cases. Our law firm has been recognized as among the top medical malpractice firms in Massachusetts and throughout New England, with selection to Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers.
Our attorneys each have more than three decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases in Boston hospitals, Worcester hospitals and medical centers across Massachusetts. We are experienced in helping clients and their families with complex cases involving surgical malpractice, failure to diagnose cancer, emergency room medical malpractice and hospital medication errors.
To speak to an experienced Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer, contact us today at (617) 723-7676.