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How do you research a surgeon?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Besides word of mouth referrals, how do you go about researching a surgeon? How can you find out if they have any lawsuits against them or if there have been any complaints filed? I'd appreciate any advice you could offer.




  • I've struggled with this a lot. There are some sources of information, but it's very hard to get any of the details about what they specialize in, how many surgeries they do, etc., and I've found it especially difficult to get info about what patients' experiences have been like.

    Regarding lawsuits: you can check with your state's medical licensing board. In Colorado, I can get the license information online, including whether or not there have been any actions filed against the doctor, for any doctor (and other personnel) licensed in the state.

    Other online sources of info include
    * vitals.com (has some patient reviews for some doctors)
    * healthgrades.com (has some detailed reports for some doctors, but most are not free, unless the dr. has made them available for free)
    * abms.org (to see if the dr. is board certified)
    * spineuniverse.com
    * Web sites for hospitals at which the dr. has priviledges sometimes have bios/profiles
    * castleconnolly.com maintains "top doctors in America" lists, but most info is not available free
    * there are other "doctor rating" Web sites that I don't remember

    I also just google the doctor's name to see what turns up (usually any rating Web site that has a profile of the dr. will show up in google results). Some surgeons are in practices that have Web sites containing resumes, etc.

    Good luck!
  • My referring physiotherapist told me to outright ask my NS what his M&M (Morbity and Mortality) rates were.

    Of course, this is AFTER you get the apt. - doesn't help much for before.

    The physio did explain to me in detail why he was recommending the NS he was sending me to.
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  • There are good and bad surgeons out there. I think that patients differ with opinions regarding to certain ones esp if they are not happy with their treatment and they didn't get on with their surgeon.

    You have to meet them face to face and see how you feel about them. You'll know straight away if you trust them and want them to oversee your treatment. Remember that some people won't like what they hear from their surgeons and that can affect their judgement so, although word of mouth can be good it can also be bad.

    To find out about your surgeon you can log onto the hospital website or google them. In the UK there are some websites that you can log onto and check out the surgeons. Also, the general medical council which is in the UK and oversees all the drs has a link on their web that allows you to see if they have been investigated. Not all complaints will be made public as usually there is nothing in them to cause any concern to other patients. If a dr has been struck off they won't be practising in that country but unfortunately I've known that some drs made a mistake here and they fled to their own country and continued to practice.

    If a surgeon made a mistake and was investigated and deemed to still be fit to practice then you won't find out about it. Also these drs travel round from state to state and country to country to gain experience so, you've got to go with your gut instinct about them when you see them.

    Hope this helps.

  • Very helpful! Thanks :)))
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