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Before you commit: Two things to consider when choosing a doctor

DoctorFinding a good doctor can be an exercise in patience — no pun intended. Numerous websites tout reviews of doctors or include patient testimonials, but these sites rarely give you a full picture of a medical practice or individual.

In fact, two of the most useful factors to look for while researching physicians rarely show up at all:


It is important to remember that in medicine the chances of being involved in litigation are quite high-around 75 percent of all low-risk specialty physicians face a malpractice claim at some point in their career.

However, there are incidents, and then there are trends. If a physician has several different suits either settled or pending, it may be worth digging a little deeper into their court cases.

Fortunately, one easy way to do this is through Ohio’s public court system. Look up the county of their practice, type their name into the court record system for that county and you will find cases they have been involved in.

Past disciplinary action

Besides lawsuits, you should also consider if a physician has ever faced disciplinary action from the State Medical Board of Ohio. Their website is free to use and will show you any infractions committed by someone with a medical license.

This agency reviews (via board committee) complaints filed against doctors by patients. If the board determines the physician committed what the complaint alleges, there will be proof of disciplinary action on this site.

The board maintains records on all physicians licensed in Ohio and can help you narrow your options. To find a doctor’s license history, just type in their first and last name here.

The site keeps records of all infractions and even lets you look at the letter sent out to the physician detailing any allegations.

While finding a doctor can seem like a lot of work, it is important to make sure you have the right person for your medical needs. These two tools help make finding them easier.

If you feel you have been treated unfairly by a physician (or know someone who has), getting legal representation is a crucial first step towards addressing the issue.