Surgery is serious and can be a life-altering event. It’s right to be concerned about finding the most skilled surgeon possible to work on you. It’s important to do your research on the procedure you want done and the surgeon you want to accomplish it. The sad truth is that most surgeons will make more money if they perform surgery on you than if they choose a more conservative treatment. This is true not only on a personal level, but even at the practice level, with some practices actively pushing their surgeons to favor surgery to pay the bills.
Doing your research will give you an idea of a surgeon’s reputation. Don’t be afraid to ask specifically how often they’re able to help patients without resorting to surgery.
Your Primary Doctor May Not Refer Who You Would Choose
Most of us would naturally assume our primary doctor’s recommendation is the best choice. In reality, a primary physician may refer a surgeon for a host of other reasons. In some cases, referrals go to members of the same medical group automatically. In others, referrals are politically motivated or are based on nothing more than a personal relationship. Do your own research to make sure you’re being sent to the very best surgeon for your needs.
With many surgeries, there’s an older, more difficult way to perform the procedure and a newer, less invasive technique. It takes effort and practice for a surgeon to master a new technique, and a poor surgeon may not even tell you about a less traumatic (and expensive) option if they don’t know how to do it.
When you do research on your own, you can find out about a surgeon’s competencies and be sure you’re working with a professional who can truly offer you all the options.
Ask Friends And Neighbors For Referrals
In addition to asking your primary doctor for a recommendation, ask friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers if they have any recommendations. Be sure to ask if they have personal experience, if they were pleased with the way their surgeon interacted with them, and if the results were what they expected. Just remember that skill is more important than personality in a surgeon.
Discuss The Surgery With Your Insurance Company
An insurance company may also have a conflict of interest when it comes to surgeons and err on the side of prioritizing cost over everything else. At the same time, a botched surgery is the last thing your insurer ever wants to pay for, so it pays to contact them and ask for some recommendations in your area.
Perform Background Checks
Once you have a small list of a few candidates, start your in-depth research with a go lookup search. A background check will flag up any criminal record, whether a surgeon has ever been in legal trouble, and the details of a particular surgeon’s education and training.
Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice cases can tell you precisely how horrifying malpractice can be. Every year, thousands of unnecessary surgeries are performed, and malpractice is simply not as uncommon as it should be. Contact the New Mexico State Medical Board to find out whether a surgeon you’re considering has a history of malpractice.
Arrange For A Consultation
Meet with a surgeon before you schedule surgery. Note how they answer your questions and be sure to ask how many times they’ve performed the particular procedure you need. If you are in any way uncomfortable, don’t schedule the surgery until you’ve met with a few other surgeons. Again, skill is more important than personality, but you still need someone you can work with.