I should start by saying I’ve medical weight loss in healthcare for most of my professional life. Having spent a considerable amount of time with physicians, and thought leaders within the pharmaceutical industry…vetting physicians by their credentials was second nature to me!
It was from this perspective I entered into the selection process for my new primary caregiver with my health insurance carrier. I accessed their network through my laptop and basically only saw a physical address, hospital affiliation, specialty and of course a NAME! Hoping that more information would be provided with the “telephone book” sized directory they sent later that week, I eagerly thumbed through the pages and was shocked to see no further information provided!
A potential candidate for the position… from my perspective should provide the following:
1. Institutions of learning, undergraduate and medical school (class ranking would be nice…but rarely provided).
2. Hospital of their residency
3. Board certifications
4. CME (continuing medical education requirements current)
5. Professional affiliations ( AMA, American Academy of Family Physicians, etc.)
6. Advanced degrees regarding their specialty. ( it is quite legal for a physician to decide he or she wants to practice Plastic Surgery and hang the appropriate shingle after a few hours of CME education)
7. Current hospital affiliations ( it is of little value having a referring primary physician who doesn’t have admitting privileges at your local hospital of choice)
8. Any pending legal actions, past litigations or AMA sanctions etc.
I guess it is a sign of the times that insurance companies attempt to turn physicians into a commodity…consciously or not… they aren’t!
Many people when purchasing a new car do exhaustive research, they go online, pick up the most recent magazines that evaluate automobiles, visit dealerships and kick the tires…so to speak. I find it interesting that most people spend considerably less time and energy in the process of selecting their primary care physicians.
The world is filled with highly qualified physicians who are talented, and well trained, however the onus is on us to find them, and once we do become a compliant and dutiful patient partner!
A patient today has to be involved in their healthcare more then ever, Caveat Emptor! (Buyer Beware)
NOTE… I feel most people place too much emphasis on the “bedside manner” of a physician under consideration. I would recommend selecting a doctor with a “gruff persona” who is better credentialed, than one who is more socially adept…but has less!