Stopping medical malpractice- how patients can help – Part 3

(previously posted under the title 6 reasons to sue your doctor-and how not to-part 3)

In the article, “YOU’VE BEEN SUED FOR MALPRACTICE-NOW WHAT?” (Medical Economics, March 10, 2015) attorney Richard Baker offers  6 common reasons for malpractice lawsuits, and what physicians can do to prevent them. In this series I look at them from the patient viewpoint- what you can do avoid getting care that makes you want to sue .

3. FAILURE TO KEEP CURRENT WITH STANDARDS AND KNOWLEDGE 

You can’t control  your doctor’s training, CME (continuing medical education), and certifications. But you have a right and responsibility to confirm that the doctor is qualified to perform the services offered. Doctors’ offices have diplomas, licenses, awards displayed on the walls for a reason-they want you to look at them.  Hospitals and other health care facilities make sure  that  the  physicians have the appropriate credentials.  Social media expert Kevin Pho, M.D. explains  how to check out a doctor’s credentials online-

Finding a doctor online and researching your physician on the Internet

Physicians can attend live lectures, watch or listen to lectures online and even view CME activities on a smart phone or other hand held device.
Physicians can attend live lectures, watch or listen to lectures online and even view CME activities on a smart phone or other hand held device.

Physicians must have a license for every state where they practice. Most physicians in the United States are board certified .which shows competency in their specialty. They take  a written and sometimes oral exam  and perform the requirements for MOC- maintenance of certification – medical study through lectures, reading, chart reviews and interactive online activities and repeat testing every few years.

Some physicians question the value of MOC. We agree with the idea in principle but believe the current requirements are irrelevant ,expensive, and time consuming without adding anything to knowledge, skill or improved patient care.  A few quit MOC completely and let their certification lapse, or join an alternate board which has less complicated requirements.  I will remain certified by the American Board of Family Medicine but the process needs to be relevant and valuable.

Learn more about certification in Family Medicine and if your family physician is board certified at the website of the American Board of Family Medicine 

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who loves to write about the HEART of HEALTH. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. My ideas come from my training, experiences, medical practice, personal life, and medicine in the media. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of health and medicine.

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