When you seek medical examination or treatment in Delaware, it’s not your responsibility to ensure that the physician attending to your needs is doing their job correctly. As a patient, you can reasonably expect that any doctor you receive care or treatment from will act in accordance with state law and accepted standards of safety.
In a perfect world, that would always be the case. In reality, however, many patients in this state and beyond have suffered serious injuries, sometimes even fatal, because of medical malpractice. While it’s not your responsibility to monitor the medical profession, it is good to be proactive by thoroughly checking out a doctor’s credentials before entrusting them with your health.
Why you should visit The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) online
On the FSMB website, you can find a search option where you can enter a specific physician’s name to conduct a background check. Since there may be more than one doctor with similar names, it’s essential to ensure you have the exact spelling and location of practice for the name you want to search.
Not only is this an easy way to review a doctor’s board certifications, but you can also learn more about their educational background and the states in which they are licensed to practice medicine. Most importantly, you will also be able to see if there have been any patient complaints or board disciplinary actions against the physician in question.
What if you don’t have the time or opportunity to research a doctor?
If you’re in a car accident, for instance, or have suffered a severe injury somehow, the first time you meet the doctor who provides your care might be in an emergency room. You might not even be conscious during that meeting. It is not always possible for a patient to conduct a thorough review of a doctor’s credentials before receiving medical care, but should be done whenever possible.
This is another reason why licensed physicians must adhere to stringent protocol and safety standards to provide quality care to every patient they see. If you’re in immediate need of treatment for an injury or illness, you shouldn’t have to worry that the physician in charge might act with negligence and make your condition worse.
Why medical malpractice issues are so stressful and complex
If you believe that a Delaware physician has caused you to suffer injury or illness, it’s understandable that you would want them to be held accountable. Medical malpractice issues are often addressed in several ways.
A patient may decide to file an injury claim in a civil court. A state medical board might also take disciplinary action against a physician, by issuing a warning or suspending or revoking a license to practice medicine in this state.