• How to Find a Good Doctor

    by Dr. J. Michael Bennett
    on Jun 25th, 2012

Call 281-633-8600 for an appointment.  In this article, Dr. J. Michael Bennett talks about how to find a good doctor — whether an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine doctor or some other doctor.  The information was broadcast on the Dr. Jay Show on 1560TheGame from Houston TX.

Dr. J. Michael Bennett is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with offices in Sugar Land and Houston, near the Houston Galleria. His patients come from Fort Bend County, Harris County and surrounding areas.

Doctor Bennett is also Fellowship Trained in Sports Medicine and he’s earned a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine.  Dr. Bennett’s practice focuses on injuries and diseases of the shoulder, elbow, knee, and some hand and wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.  Call 281-633-8600 for an appointment.

This is the transcript of the first portion of a Doctor Jay Show on 1560 The Game.  The topic being discussed what how to find a good doctor.

Good morning Houston.  This is Dr. Jay Michael Bennett at 1560 The Game.  Got a great show for you today.  This is Saturdays with Dr. Jay, and we’re here as your official sports medicine information provider.  We’re going to answer some questions in regards to sports medicine, wellness and orthopedic surgery.  Whatever you’ve got, feel free to call us and we’d be happy to answer your questions. 

We’ve got Bob Lewis here from 1560; he’s our patient advocate.  We’re going to be talking about you guys, about patients, today, and a little bit about physicians and what to look for and some really important things regarding how to find a good doctor and somebody you’re really comfortable with.  

If this is the first time you’ve tuned in, my name is Dr. J. Michael Bennett and I practice here in the greater Houston area.  I am an orthopedic surgeon, I am board certified in orthopedics and I’m also fellowship trained in sports medicine and I have a certificate of added qualification in sports medicine.  I’ve been out in the greater Houston area for the past six years now. 

Anyway, about the show here, we’re basically about sports medicine, wellness and orthopedic surgery but the main reason we have the show is to get rid of the myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding medicine and wellness and we really want to clear that up for you guys because there’s a lot of smokescreens and scams out there and we really believe you need to put a little research into finding a physician and treating your injury or malady appropriately.  So we’re hoping to give you a little bit of information about that and make that process a little bit easier.  

I want to give a shout-out to our sponsors, the Texas Sports Medicine Institute, which is a great facility between Sugar Land and Katy.  It’s a one-stop shop for sports medicine, orthopedics and wellness.  We’ve got physical therapy, sports medicine, podiatry and orthopedics, all in one location, Plex 99 is right next door, so feel free to check it out, it’s definitely a one of a kind facility.  Their website is www.texassportsmed.com and you can also check out my website at www.jmichaelbennett.com

Today we’re talking about the patients, about you, and we know how hard it is today to pick a physician.  The way it usually happens is people go out, get injured and show up in an Emergency Room somewhere or at a doctor’s office and don’t really know how they got there and they’re basically going off a recommendation that their physician made or their ER doctor made.  We want to give you some information in making that process easier in picking a physician. 

First off I want to go through the differences in doctors.  Nowadays it’s becoming more and more blurred on what is a doctor.  You walk in and you’ve got “Dr. So and So” over there and “Dr. So and So” over here.  That doctor could be a medical doctor, an M.D.; could be an osteopathic doctor, a D.O.; or a doctor of chiropractic medicine, a D.C.; they could be a podiatric doctor, a D.P.M.; and nowadays there’s a big push for nurse practitioners to get their doctorate as well as P.A.’s and even physical therapists.  To make things even more confusing, you think a doctor means one thing when it actually probably means about 10 things. 

You really need to understand what you’re getting.  And I’m not saying that to bash on anyone in particular.  There are great doctors out there in all those divisions we just mentioned.  But there’s also some bad ones.  And the big thing I worry about is a misunderstanding or misconception when people go in there.  What are they a doctor of?  Where have they been trained?  Are they an M.D., which is a medical doctor, which means they went to medical school and then did about a five-year residency and then went into a fellowship or something along those lines.  Or are they a doctor of podiatric medicine which means they went to college and then podiatric school which is a school specifically for foot injuries and foot issues.  So that’s not the guy you want to go see for your elbow or your shoulder. 

Then there’s the doctor of chiropractic medicine, and that’s the guy that went to chiropractic school, a four-year school, and got their doctorate in chiropractic medicine.  And that’s primarily for manipulations, non-operative muscular-skeletal management, primarily involving spine, although more recently it’s really expanding as far as what they cover.  A lot of them are doing manipulations of the shoulders and elbows and things like that.  

But you’ve got to be very careful, like I said, because there are a lot of good ones but some bad ones, too.  And there are certain training algorithms that people follow specifically when it comes to muscular-skeletal treatment and especially with orthopedics.  But when it comes down to chiropractic treatments, if you’re going to one guy for a stiff shoulder and all that they’re doing is basically giving you a massage and then putting a heat pack on you that’s probably not the best treatment you’re going to get. 

You’ve got to make sure you’re seeing the right person and you’re getting the right treatment.  I use a lot of chiropractors that I refer to in my practice because they do a very good job particularly when it comes to muscular-skeletal pain and spasm and back pain and manipulations.  A lot of times you can ask your orthopedic surgeon what they think; there’s a lot of people that sway one way or another.  I came from training in Miami at the University of Miami and they were very cooperative with chiropractors and as a matter of fact there was a chiropractor that traveled with us wherever we went with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Hurricanes.  

LEWIS:  Are there different levels of chiropractic certification or title?

DR. J. MICHAEL BENNETT:  I think there is some more training that they can get, but I’m not real sure about some of the different levels of certification.  They can’t do an M.D., though.  It’s usually a doctorate of chiropractic medicine.  If anyone listening is a chiropractor, feel free to call us up and tell us about the training available after getting a D.C.  When I was in Miami, they worked hand in hand with the players and they loved it.  They would go down there to get the manipulations and things like that.  But the key difference there was a lot of the chiropractors knew when to refer to an orthopedic surgeon, they knew how to identify when what they were doing wasn’t working.  Because there are some guys out there who are going to keep running you through it and you’re going to keep seeing them over and over again.  “Okay, I’ve been there 30 times and I’m still not better.”  

So today we’re talking about physicians, how to find a good doctor, the red flags you should be aware of.  We’ve got a great show today and feel free to stay tuned in.  We’ll be right back after this break.

If you have any questions, please call Dr. Bennett’s Sugar Land office at 281-633-8600 or his Houston office at 713-234-3152 for an appointment.

Author Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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