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A state medical board may offer varying information on a doctor

Many times when Houston residents need to see a doctor, they will do a search online. There are many places to find information about a doctor, including the state medical boards. But is the information from a state medical board reliable? For many medical procedures it is important to know critical information about a medical provider including discipline records and mistakes they may have made, which can include the failure to diagnose a medical condition.

Each state medical board has a website. The problem with these websites is that they can be difficult to navigate and may not have very thorough information on a doctor. Most medical boards do not make it easy to find information on an individual doctor and if the information is posted it can be hard to understand what it means. There can be a large discrepancy among states as to what doctors have disciplinary action against them and why. Some states have higher disciplinary rates than others and each state has different regulatory procedures and medical standards. Doctors may be on probation for sexual misconduct, drug abuse, and other serious matters, but consumers may not be able to find that information.

A patient's relationship with their doctor is privileged. Patients trust that their doctors will make the right decisions and give all important information. When a medical mistake is made, patients can feel angry and let down. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help a family figure out what went wrong. They can review medical records and consult with medical experts to see what mistakes were made. They can hold the medical professional accountable for their negligence. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: consumerreports.org, "Can you rely on your state's medical board?", Rachel Rabkin Peachman, March 31, 2016

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