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How To Choose A Specialist

Step 4. Check The Doctor's Quality

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Even the best schools or residencies have people who are at the bottom of the class who may not be the best specialists.

Many health plans, state agencies and watchdog groups offer consumer scorecards that rate doctors. The ratings measure such things as whether the doctor follows "best practices," safety, patient satisfaction and cost. Some web sites also include doctors' performance on specific procedures.

  • If you have health insurance, start by checking your health plan's Web site.
  • Check to see if your state health department has a site. For example, New York's offsite link and Pennsylvania's offsite link.
  • Some companies, such as Health Grades, Inc. ( offsite link provide ratings by consumers for free. 

Check to see if there have been disciplinary actions against the doctor. offsite link provides disciplinary information for free. To learn more, see: Has A Doctor Been Subjected To Disciplinary Action? (NOTE: Take consumer ratings with a grain of salt. If you are interested in a doctor, ask him or her why she or he is rated in a certain way.)

If you learn of additional sites about a doctor's quality, please share the information via Survivorship A to Z

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