Life Without Glasses
Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose.
He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.
Is the Surgeon Board Certified?
There are number of warning signs that a surgeon is not competent to perform your vision correction surgery. Take the time to make sure the surgeon you select does not fall into the following categories.
Lack of Board Certification
At the conclusion of their training, all newly minted eye doctors take a rigorous oral and written test of their knowledge. Those who pass this test are called board certified. Doctors who fail can take it again. Eventually, about 90 percent of eye doctors pass the test. That means that if a surgeon is not board certified, he or she was in the bottom 10 percent of their knowledge of the field. If you find an eye surgeon is nonboard- certified, run the other way! To verify whether a specific eye doctor is board certified, you can go to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website at www.abms.org. You can also check out the American Board of Ophthalmology website, http://abop.org/verify-a-physician/, for the names of board-certified eye surgeons.
Excessive Number of Malpractice Suits?
Even the best surgeons occasionally get sued for malpractice. With live in a culture where lawsuits are frequent. You want a surgeon with lots of experience, and lawsuits are, unfortunately, a part of any busy surgeon’s experience. The typical vision correction surgeon is sued roughly once for every 3,000 surgeries performed. Statistics indicate that about 80 percent of these suits are either frivolous or without merit. Look for a surgeon with fewer than one lawsuit per 5,000 surgeries. If the doctor has been sued more frequently than this, or has multiple simultaneous lawsuits, you should ask for an explanation. If you are embarrassed to ask about malpractice suits against the doctor, there are alternative ways to obtain this information.
The Federation of State Medical Boards collects and disseminates information about doctors’ malpractice histories. It takes five to seven days to get an answer to a request. Contact the organization at its website, www.fsmb.org. Many state medical boards offer lists of judgments against a doctor or settlements by the doctor. Check your state medical board’s website.
Sanctions by the State Medical Board?
All doctors must be licensed by the state medical board in any state in which they practice. Medical boards will discipline doctors for significant misbehavior, including gross or repeated acts of negligence. Contact your state medical board for information on the doctor you are considering. Many state medical boards now publish disciplinary actions against surgeons online. Medical boards are often criticized for being too lenient in disciplining physicians. A physician who has been disciplined usually has to have done something pretty bad.Surgeon’s Practice Style and Statistics »
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