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New Doc, decisions, decisions.
Old 02-08-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
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New Doc, decisions, decisions.

An unexpected dilemma.

Or Primary Doc has sold his his practice. New Doc is totally unknown.

So need some opinions.

This Doc does not have privileges at the same hospital which the previous did. That hospital, their superb nursing staff and some specialists saved DW with early stage of lung cancer, so have fondness for the place, the care there there was superb in all respects.

It is one of the neatest and friendliest medium size hospital we have aver known. Also a lot of credit goes to the now ex primary Doc for initial diagnostics and referrals.

New Doc has an ongoing practice several towns away, and has hosp affiliation about 35 miles away.

For non doc it is nearly impossible to get good factual info on a doctor. Any suggestions for sources, even if if costs some bucks.

First impression may be nice but not necessarily reliable for future care or quality thereof. Neither of us has met him yet.

We need to decide if we should stay with the location of the practice -very convenient- we really like the nurse and receptionist- Or find new Doc in town or search for others even if a bit of a distance away.

The new Doc kept the staff, though for obvious reasons they are very cagey in giving impressions.

Did read some hints that quality -whatever that means- hospitals have higher standards for docs to practice there. That is another black hole for non-doctors, in getting info on standards, and even if I could get it, may not be able to comprehend it.

Any and all input appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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I would see if someone you know knows a few nurses who work at the hospital preferably in the ER and ask their opinion.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
An unexpected dilemma.

Or Primary Doc has sold his his practice. New Doc is totally unknown.

So need some opinions.

This Doc does not have privileges at the same hospital which the previous did. That hospital, their superb nursing staff and some specialists saved DW with early stage of lung cancer, so have fondness for the place, the care there there was superb in all respects.

It is one of the neatest and friendliest medium size hospital we have aver known. Also a lot of credit goes to the now ex primary Doc for initial diagnostics and referrals.

New Doc has an ongoing practice several towns away, and has hosp affiliation about 35 miles away.

For non doc it is nearly impossible to get good factual info on a doctor. Any suggestions for sources, even if if costs some bucks.

First impression may be nice but not necessarily reliable for future care or quality thereof. Neither of us has met him yet.

We need to decide if we should stay with the location of the practice -very convenient- we really like the nurse and receptionist- Or find new Doc in town or search for others even if a bit of a distance away.

The new Doc kept the staff, though for obvious reasons they are very cagey in giving impressions.

Did read some hints that quality -whatever that means- hospitals have higher standards for docs to practice there. That is another black hole for non-doctors, in getting info on standards, and even if I could get it, may not be able to comprehend it.

Any and all input appreciated.
Contact your local medical society to see if they provide a referral service.

Contact your health insurer to determine if this new doc and his hospital are with your plan. While talking with the carrier, ask what info they provide to members about physicians, their efficacy ratings, and hospitals.

-- Rita
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:49 AM   #4
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What a blow.

Reading your post, it seems obvious to me that you aren't going to be happy dealing with that other hospital (if hospitalization becomes necessary).

So, for right now I'd do nothing but I'd start looking for a new doc. This new doc should be one with privileges at the hospital you like, with an office close to you, that is well qualified, and accepted by your insurance. That should narrow it down quite a bit. Then from that smaller list, you need to find one that comes highly recommended both by other medical professionals and by his patients so you would have to ask people in both of these groups.

I need a new internist too, but I've been going to the old one for ten years. I never was crazy about him, but for several years after Katrina doctors were so scarce that I was lucky to have one at all so I just kept going to him. Years have passed, though, and hopefully by now I will be able to get another lined up. Probably should do that before I reach Medicare age.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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I would see if someone you know knows a few nurses who work at the hospital preferably in the ER and ask their opinion.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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I agree with asking Nurses. Ask friends too.

Next, contact the state licencing body. There will usually be a website, and in most states you will be able to search for the individual physician by name. Usually you will find any information about disciplinary actions, settled legal actions, etc. This will show you the low end of the bar but not the high end.

There are several sites like ratemds.com RateMDs.com | Find doctors - Doctor reviews and ratings - Doctor vitals
where patients rate their doctors anonymously. Obviously some people will have an agenda, and this isn't a scientific survey, but you may be able to pick up a flavour of the physician's customer service philosophy. Even so, "nice" physicians don't always practice the highest standard of care in terms of being up to date, diagnostically and technically adept, etc, etc. I've seen glowing patient reviews of physicians online that I wouldn't send my worst enemy to, and I've seen mediocre (though never bad) patient reviews of physicians that I consider to be excellent and highly professional. Some comments are very perceptive. Online, if you don't know the physician, it's hard to tell which are true bill. Use these sites with a grain of salt.

If you hear from several friends that a particular physician's management has been associated with several similar adverse events (complications), that would be a red flag. If you hear about one complication, and the physician apologized and addressed the problem well, don't hold it against him or her.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
An unexpected dilemma.

Or Primary Doc has sold his his practice. New Doc is totally unknown.

So need some opinions.

This Doc does not have privileges at the same hospital which the previous did. That hospital, their superb nursing staff and some specialists saved DW with early stage of lung cancer, so have fondness for the place, the care there there was superb in all respects.

It is one of the neatest and friendliest medium size hospital we have aver known. Also a lot of credit goes to the now ex primary Doc for initial diagnostics and referrals.

New Doc has an ongoing practice several towns away, and has hosp affiliation about 35 miles away.

For non doc it is nearly impossible to get good factual info on a doctor. Any suggestions for sources, even if if costs some bucks.

First impression may be nice but not necessarily reliable for future care or quality thereof. Neither of us has met him yet.

We need to decide if we should stay with the location of the practice -very convenient- we really like the nurse and receptionist- Or find new Doc in town or search for others even if a bit of a distance away.

The new Doc kept the staff, though for obvious reasons they are very cagey in giving impressions.

Did read some hints that quality -whatever that means- hospitals have higher standards for docs to practice there. That is another black hole for non-doctors, in getting info on standards, and even if I could get it, may not be able to comprehend it.

Any and all input appreciated.
If the new physician is keeping the staff of the previous physician, is he/she also keeping the same office open and rotating through multiple offices? If yes...that's not a bad thing but could mean that they intend to apply for privileges at the local hospital, or hire an associate that would be at this office full-time. Might work out ok....and at least you know the other staff already.

I would contact their current office and just ask what the plans are for keeping the previous physician's office open. If they plan to close it.....then if I were you I would find someone local.

Physician's come and go. Hospital's don't.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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I agree with asking Nurses. Ask friends too.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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Can you tell your old doctor that you want to be treated by someone with privileges at the hospital you like, and ask if he would recommend one of his former colleagues there?
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the speedy responses.

We will pursue the nurses information avenue. That seems to be the learned consensus. I'll do my part, however DW is better at getting nurses esp. women to provide free flowing info.

We know from the office/nurse that the new Doc is part of the insurance plans we have. Also in case needed, we will proceed to the hospital we know well if emergency happens. The hospital will assign a Doc. for in hospital case management. I talked to the hospital about that issue. Unfortunately this hosp does not have Hospitalists Ala RIT. Though when I questioned them they said it is being considered. Won't hold my breath on that.

Will check out the office continuation info. It is in desirable location, well established self contained neat structure.

I do understand that nice docs are not necessarily great diagnosticians. Though we are not looking for the surly but superb "Dr House" TV myth type either.

One downside to the new Doc may be that he is a Family practitioner, the previous Doc was Internal Medicine. Not sure how much additional training to be Internist. The years in practice is roughly comparable at 25 or so.

Once again Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Can you tell your old doctor that you want to be treated by someone with privileges at the hospital you like, and ask if he would recommend one of his former colleagues there?
If I happen to bump into him around town, I'll ask, say doc if you are sick who do you see?
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:03 PM   #12
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This happened to me about 10 years ago. We immediately got a recommendation from a friend and used their doctor but still looked around.
I finally found someone that I really like. The only problem is that he is now my age (58).
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The followup.
Old 02-18-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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The followup.

We did as much due diligence as we could. The findings:

The Doc has recently been granted privileges at our preferred hospital.
DW, talked via some retired nurses who dealt with him and his patients had nothing but good to say.

DW talked with a nurse who worked for him directly, only good things no hedging.

I talked with a Retired nurse who knew him and sent some folks to this doc. She thought well of him and the folks who she sent to see him stayed with him saying they were favorably impressed.

He moved into town not long ago.

We decided to stay with the office and the new doc.

Yesterday DW had routine visit for thyroid med followups. She thought he was well prepared and was familiar with her recent surgical and other medical history. Either he reads/comprehends very fast (ie. reading the chart synopsis on the other side of the door, before entering the exam room, and/or the nurse had filled him on the details) in any case DW decided he is a keeper.

Thanks again for all the input.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:26 PM   #14
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Thanks again for all the input.

Glad it all turned out for the best !
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:54 PM   #15
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Sounds like it's all good.......nice to hear.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:45 PM   #16
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We recently needed to find a new doc (moved). I asked the opinion of a childhood friend whose opinion I greatly respect (surgeon, Rhodes Scholar) who also recently moved to town. I then researched his choice and learned that the internist is maybe 5 years younger than we are. Humm, the internist is doubtless a great physician but he will be retired about the time I really need his skills. I found a physician in her 40s.

All of us 65+ have Medicare as primary even if we have full-price health insurance. I had a problem finding an internist accepting Medicare patients, notwithstanding the additional coverage. I hear from my retired MD friends that their fee structure is less than the cost of providing the service.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:45 PM   #17
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Glad that the Dr. thing worked out (is working out)for you. Whenever I need a new doc (let's say a specialist) I ask one of my current docs for a recommendation. I was referred to my cardio guy by my urologist. Found my dermatologist through my ENT guy (or, it might have been the other way around--it's been a long time).
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:01 AM   #18
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We're in sort of a dilema also with our primary care physician. Been going to him for 13 years and I like him alot although DW does not. She always goes to his PA's (women) and is more comfortable. He can't go onto hospital property because he is self insured and doesn't carry malpractice insurance. This is permitted in Florida. His practicing partner left for another city and now he is the only doctor in the office. He is part of our health care plan, I get great service, most of my prescription needs are handled over the phone and appointments are readily available to us. DW wants to change doctors but I don't.
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