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Research a surgeon to give yourself peace of mind

If you come to find that you require surgery to address a medical concern, it's important to learn as much as possible about the many surgeons who can perform the procedure. The information you collect will help you make a confident decision that gives you peace of mind.

In addition to asking your doctor for guidance and feedback, there are other steps you can take to research a surgeon in Pennsylvania before deciding to rely on their expertise. Here's a good place to start:

  • Confirm their credentials and certification: Don't assume that a surgeon has all the credentials and certifications required. Instead, double-check this by contacting the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and American Board of Medical Specialties. It's likely that everything will check out, but you won't know for sure until you dig deeper.
  • Search for professional reprimands: For example, if a licensing board has sanctioned a surgeon in the past, you must learn what happened. This may lead you toward crossing the surgeon off your short list and continuing your search.
  • Read online ratings and reviews: There are plenty of websites devoted to sharing information, ratings and reviews for all types of surgeons and medical professionals. You shouldn't use this information as the sole factor in making a decision, but it's a good place to start. If other patients are unhappy with the service they received, you may want to reconsider that particular surgeon.

Help prevent medical malpractice

When scheduling a surgical procedure, one of your primary concerns will be medical malpractice. You're worried that the surgeon will make some type of mistake, such as operating on the wrong body part, that causes additional injury or death.

By researching surgeons, you can do your part in preventing medical malpractice. There's no guarantee that everything will go smoothly, but you will have peace of mind in knowing that you did your homework.

If you or a loved one is ever the victim of medical malpractice, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion. It's critical to find a doctor who can take over your care, thus helping to stabilize your condition.

As your health allows, learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to file a claim against the negligent surgeon with the idea of obtaining compensation.

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