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Old 05-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Location: Federal Way, WA, USA
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Question How to choose a surgeon?

I'm in the U.S. - I thought I might have a sesamoid fracture (foot injury) Podiatrist doesn't think it's broke - and it does seem to be gradually improving.

But I also asked the podiatrist about an ingrown toenail, and she is going to do minor surgery on that toe this Friday.

The problem is... I don't know all that much about the doctor.
How can I find out about her as a surgeon?
When I look for ratings and reviews, I suspect I am seeing advertisements (showing only the good reviews).

How do I check if there are bad reviews or if the doctor has a higher failure rate than others? Maybe I'm asking the impossible.


In case anyone is wondering - the foot injury was from kicking my son... sparring in Taekwondo, that is
I caught the edge of his arm guard and jambed my big toe. It feels like the injury is way back in the metatarsal bone. It's healing slow because I can't completely stop training, and am protecting the foot with TKD shoes, for the most part, but it still takes a bit of a beating if I get too enthusiastic. It's hard not to work out at high intensity, and because I'm not young, recovery takes more time these days.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: How to choose a surgeon?

State Medical Boards

State medical boards are very useful when you're researching your surgeon or any other type of physician. You can view your surgeon's disciplinary history, if there is one, by clicking on the links below. Click on the state your surgeon practices in. If your surgeon has practiced in more than one state, you will need to check with each state to view your surgeon's complete disciplinary history. Information included in these histories include things such as:

malpractice suits

disciplinary actions taken by the board

hospital disciplinary actions and suspensions

arbitration awards

and more

Google State Medical Board or State verification of licence procedures, you should find what you need.

Old 05-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: How to choose a surgeon?

Thanks - that looks very useful!
I'll have a look on my lunch hour tomorrow (it's past my bedtime )

Old 05-23-2012, 04:01 AM   #4
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Re: How to choose a surgeon?

Removing an ingrown toenail is a relative simple procedure so I wouldn't worry much beyond the above. But as for the sesamoid issue, look for a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon who is foot and ankle board certified. You don't say where you are but if there is a pro football or basketball team or professional dance company in town, call and find out who they use for foot issues. Call the office and ask for the doctor's "CV" - that's short for curiculum vitae and it's like a resume for academics and medical folks. Then check out the schools they attended and the residency programs they went thru. US News and World reports often has listings of those. Also, your home town Chamber of Commerce may print an annual "Best Doctors" list.

Old 05-23-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: How to choose a surgeon?

Thanks again.

The doctor does have a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT...
so she must be pretty smart!

Usually I'm not nervous about surgery (the few times I've had it)...
I think part of my problem is I'm dreading the time away from my
Taekwondo lessons. And the fact that I've only seen the doctor once
before, when she fit me for orthotics.

The other injury is slowly improving, so if I do have a fractured
sesamoid, it may be healing itself. My GP and the podiatrist both
said nothing is broken

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