Re: Thoughts: Determining If A Doctor/Facility Is "Good"
In addition to what Baybreeze suggested, with the availability of the Internet you have lots of statistics at your fingertips. You can find out the doctor's education, whether he is fellowship-trained, whether any law suits have been filed against him, etc. You can find out what professional organizations he belongs to. Then you research the hospital itself. There are various local and state rankings, rates of infection, articles and ratings in magazines such as "US News and World Report," etc., professional hospital organizations that provide rankings, and so forth.
Just as you discovered with your injections, if you don't do your homework when selecting your doctor, you could end up with someone who is not a spinal specialist. Back surgery has become the second largest consumer of health care dollars in the US. It is a very lucrative business and some doctors are not as qualified as they should be.
Finally as a consumer you need to learn everything you can about your diagnosis, or potential diagnosis. Some hospitals have libraries where you can read the latest medical journals; some have librarians that will help you find pertinent articles. Otherwise, once again turn to the Internet. You will soon learn which websites are educational and which are run by the drug companies or other commercial entities. It is up to each of us to become an educated consumer so that we end up with the best possible outcome for our particular diagnosis.