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A surgeon's attitude can be a major red flag

You're worried about surgical errors, so you're working hard to find the perfect surgeon before you schedule anything. You're getting referrals, you're looking at records of major mistakes and you're trying to get reviews from past patients.

As you do this, it may be wise to sit down and meet with any potential surgeons face-to-face. Often, you can learn a lot about a doctor from his or her attitude. In fact, industry experts warn that a bad attitude can be a serious red flag.

A good surgeon should be interested in your case and engaged with you as a potential patient. He or she should ask questions, offer insights and treat you with a warm and caring manner, even in an interview. The surgeon should also take other doctors' opinions seriously and try to gather as much information as possible.

If you get a surgeon who does not want to hear what your primary care doctor had to say or who dismisses those opinions outright, be wary. If the surgeon doesn't seem to be interested in talking to you or engaged with the conversation, watch out.

If the surgeon is not caring and gives you nothing but short, clipped answers, as if the meeting is a waste of time, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere. Is that really the person you want operating on your body?

Of course, everyone makes mistakes. No amount of research and interviews can completely guarantee that your surgeon will never make an error. If it happens anyway, be sure that you fully understand all of your legal options.

Source: MD Mag, "How to Spot a Bad Doctor," Ryan Gray, accessed March 12, 2018

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