We at the DISC Spine Institute want you to get the safe and appropriate treatment you deserve for your neck and back pain. And while we hope you consider DISC for your procedure we always recommend doing your homework before choosing a spine specialist, whoever it may be.
Look for board certification
If your doctor is not board certified, that’s a red flag. “Being certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties means a doctor has earned a medical degree from a qualified medical school, completed three to seven years of accredited residency training, is licensed by a state medical board, and has passed one or more exams administered by a member of the ABMS,” said Consumer Reports. “To maintain the certification, a doctor is expected to participate in continuing education. To see whether a doctor is certified, go to certificationmatters.org.”
Check for fellowship training
When you’re looking for a DFW back doctor, especially if you’re thinking about minimally invasive procedures to end back pain, you also want to make the doctors you’re considering have specialized fellowship training and extensive experience. Fellowship trained physicians have an additional year of intensive hands-on experience in a specific field of orthopedic surgery. Research shows that only about 10 percent of today’s spine surgeons have the experience and technical skill for minimally invasive procedures like kyphoplasty, micro endoscopic discectomy, minimally invasive endoscopic lumbar fusions (TLIF), and direct lateral minimally invasive anterior fusions (XLIF).
But, you shouldn’t discount referrals from other people. Mine your friends, family, and coworkers for referrals as well. You might have people in your life who know of a great back doctor. And don’t forget that no matter where the referral comes from, you want to make sure you do your due diligence.
Talk to your regular MD
There’s nothing better than a referral from a trusted source, and when it comes to finding a leading back doctor, a great first step is asking your regular MD. Or, if you see another type of doctor, like an allergist, optometrist, or an OB/GYN, ask them, too. Medical professionals tend to be well-connected and in the know, and should be a great resource for you.
“If you know a doctor, nurse, or health care professional, ask for the names of doctors or practices in your area whom they like and trust,” said Consumer Reports. “That can be more insightful than recommendations from friends or family.”
Do a Google search
Of course the Internet is going to play a role when you’re looking for a back doctor; it’s one of the main ways we search for just about anything today. The best way to incorporate an online search into your quest for a great DFW back doctor is to: Google individual doctor names and practice names, reading reviews and looking for any negative comments and red flags like malpractice claims and disciplinary actions. Consumer Reports’ “state-by-state list of links to state medical boards and other resources or checking up on doctors” is a useful tool for culling this information.
Scour their websites
You can learn a lot about doctors just by looking through their websites. What procedures do they do? What kind of training do they have? Are they continuing to progress with new techniques and teaching or lecturing about their specialties? Do they have any patient testimonials on their site? These can be a goldmine when it comes to getting some deeper insight into the type of care you can expect.
For more information, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Subscribe to Back Stories to stay up to date on all the latest posts.