How do I go about finding a good doctor?

Or, if I am already seeing a doctor, how can I tell if he is good or not before I gain a reason to sue him for medical malpractice?

This question goes for all types of doctors.

Talk to friends and family members. I’ve found the best dentist in the world that way. And I’ve also found a few doctors to avoid.

Most states have a searchable database (well, I know the two states I have checked do). Google the state licencing board in your state. The ones I have checked show violations where the physician was disciplined.

When I last moved I asked my doctor how to find a new one. He said that I should ask the pharmacists who deal with them every day. He also suggested I ask some nurses - but didn’t tell me how I would find nurses to ask.

Our HMO has an on-line list of who’s part of the plan. They also provide educational background info and what languages are spoken (huge deal if you ask me. I have had doctors where the language barrier was so pronounced that I might as well have been deaf). Also, friends and family.

I was invited to a party celebrating the graduation of a new class of RN’s (one of the new nurses was his girlfriend–later his wife).

A room full of new nurses that have just finished a year of internship?

I congratulated each new nurse and asked a favor. I was looking for a doctor. Would it be proper to ask the doctors you had the most respect for?
Nobody was insulted. Each person was happy to give an opinion.

I ended up making an appointment with the doctor that showed up on most lists.