Finding a Good Doctor

Call 281-633-8600 for an appointment.  In this article, Dr. J. Michael Bennett discusses rules you can use for finding a good doctor for yourself and for your family.  The information comes from a Dr. Jay Show broadcast on 1560TheGame from Houston, TX.

Dr. J. Michael Bennett is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Physician serving patients from Metro Houston from offices in Sugar Land,TX.  Doctor Bennett specializes in treating injuries and diseases associated with the elbow, shoulder, knee and certain injuries of the wrists and hands such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

He accepts most medical insurance plans and has staff privileges at the best orthopedic and sports medicine facilities in the Houston area.  If you’d like to discuss the information in this article with Doctor Bennett or if you have questions about an orthopedic or sports medicine issue, please call his Sugar Land office at 281-633-8600 or his Houston office at 713-234-3152.

This information is from an episode of the Dr. Jay Show on 1560TheGame broadcast in 2011, and it’s the third section of a show dedicated to discussing finding good doctor in the Houston area.  With Dr. Bennett is Bob Lewis of 1560TheGame.  Here’s the transcript of the Show:

DOCTOR J. MICHAEL BENNETT:  When I’m finding a good doctor for my own family, these are the rules I follow in evaluating any doctor and these rules are applicable to any medical specialty.  I call these rules, the Three Rs.  

  1. Reputation.  That’s reputation across the board, that’s not reputation based on a commercial or a TV or magazine ad.  It’s reputation based on your family and friends and people you’ve talked to in the community who’ve had surgery or affiliation with this doctor or they know him personally and they recommend him highly. I say if you have three or more people recommend that doctor, then I say go and see him. 
  2. Results.  You base that on results and experience, and whether the doctor has been out of med school for 15 years or six years, whether he’s board certified – through the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery – and whether or not they have any specialty training.  That makes a big difference, too.  There’s different types of orthopedic surgeons out there.  There’s some that are general, that just do a little bit of everything; there are some that are specialty trained, that did an extra year of training, which is fellowship training, which they do in sports medicine, hand surgery, total joints, what have you; if you want that person that has that extra expertise in that area that’s the fellowship; and then there’s a certain standard of care that orthopedic surgeons need to follow and there’s a test given by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, and when we say board certified the doctor has gone through an extensive amount of testing, we’ve gone out there to Chicago, basically these doctors hammer us with questions, go over our cases and at the end they say, “Okay, you’re board certified or not.” That’s an important thing to have, I think, when you pick a physician.
  3. Respect.  When you pick a doc you want to make sure this is somebody that’s going to respect you as much as you respect them.  You’ve got to make sure you have a sense of trust there with your physician because this is the person that is basically going to be fixing your shoulder or your knee or leg and they’re going to be responsible while you’re on the table.  So you want to have their trust and their respect.  I’m not a big advocate of the whole “I see my patient only on the day of surgery” type of thing.  I like to follow them from Day One all the way out.  And I think there is a time and place for physician extenders, which are P.A.s, but I think that the doctor has to have a big role.

LEWIS:  That brings up a point.  Those are great and I wrote those down as you went through it; by the way, the process of me going through this show with you, I’m learning a lot as well.  But for me it’s about, you know, “I sprained my ankle, I’d go to the box down the street, the Emergency Room down the street, the free-standing Emergency Room, and they give me the R.I.C.E. treatment – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – and then they say to try this and they send me a bill.”  Now how do I know when to go and see an orthopedic doctor?

DOCTOR J. MICHAEL BENNETT:  Those urgent care clinics, you’re seeing more and more of them across the board, a lot of times they’ll refer you to someone.  That’s when you need to kick into your due diligence, that’s when you start asking your family and friends, “who have you seen for this and that?”  You can go follow up with that doc, and that’s fine.  But you really want to do your due diligence and make sure this person is right for you, because, like I said, you’ve got to have the Three Rs:  Respect, Results and Reputation.  It’s kind of like the example I give my patients.  When you go out and want to buy something that you’ve want to have for a long time, like a great TV or media room or something like that, you’re not going to go down to the first store you drive by and go in there and buy the first TV you see and be happy with that.  Same thing when it comes to healthcare and your situation.  When it comes to buying that TV, for me I’m going to go to Consumer Reports, I’m going to check the Internet, I’m going to look and see what the reviews on that TV are, I’m going to ask a few people, “Hey have you tried this or that, what do you think?” And then I’m going to make a decision on what I want to get and go with that.  The physician should be the exact same thing.  You don’t want to go to the first Emergency Room or urgent care and they wrap you up and say, “Go see this guy” and then you assume that person is the greatest guy on the planet.  Do your due diligence.  Check that person out, talk to a few people about it, and see what they say and make an educated decision on what you want to do.  

LEWIS:  I think the orthopedic industry, so to speak, has been the first one to put a foot forward to say, “You’re a general practitioner” or “You’re a box down the street.”  The box down the street is not where you should be going for orthopedic problems.  The sports medicine healthcare industry has really stepped forward with a number of facilities like you have with the Texas Sports Medicine Institute.  I guess now if I ever broke my leg I would know not to go to my G.P., I’d go to an actual facility where they were trained for orthopedics.

DOCTOR J. MICHAEL BENNETT:  That’s a great statement.  I think a lot of this also depends on insurance and things like that.  But we’re going to come back and talk about that question a little more here.  This is Saturdays with Dr. Jay.

If you have any questions about the information presented here, please make an appointment with Dr. Bennett at 281-633-8600 in Sugar Land or 713-234-3152 in Houston.

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Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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