The first step in making sure you have a qualified primary care doctor is to check the doctor’s board certification credentials. Tragically, Michael Jackson must not have done that, and it may have played a role in his fatal cardiac arrest. The pop singer had a non-board-certified cardiologist right on hand when he collapsed, but the doctor apparently lacked, or didn’t use, basic resuscitation equipment. I give more details on this story in a blog entry I wrote for the Huffington Post.
In my book, “The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care — and Avoiding the Worst,” I spend a chapter talking about all the questions you need to ask to find a top primary care doctor. The very first question is the doctor’s basic credentials, which are easily available online from organizations like the American Board of Internal Medicine, which certifies internists and a number of sub-specialties within internal medicine.