United States here, and New York state specifically (if it matters).

Our five year old son needs to have an endoscopy performed with a local GI specialist. I understand its a simple procedure, but this is our son. And before we just let anyone give him anesthesia and operate on him, I'd like to know their "track record".

Is it possible to access, or even request, the "surgical history" of the gastro specialist and the anesthesiologist that will be spearheading the procedure? When I say "history" I mean, I'd like to know:

  • How many endoscopies/similar procedures have they done before (where they were performing the same roles/tasks during those procedures that they will be for our son)?
  • Of these procedures, were their any adverse effects or outcomes experienced by the patients?
  • Has the doctor received any formal/official complaints or lost any malpractice suits in the past?

Ideally, this information would be accessible so I could compare several different specialists and make a decision based on the empirical facts.

Does such information exist? How does one access it?

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    I think this is an exceedingly important question but I also think it probably has no answer that isn't just dismal. I would love to be proved wrong. – Carey Gregory Jun 30 '20 at 4:09
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    Perhaps what I'm looking for is available in slightly indirect ways...all the time I hear that a hospital is one of the "Top Rated" hospitals/surgical centers in the US, or that such and so a doctor is one of the "Top Specialists" in his/her field...where are these "ratings" coming from? Who's the authoritative source on establishing these ratings? – hotmeatballsoup Jun 30 '20 at 19:32
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    At least in the US, one can usually lookup a doctor's records at the state health department and that will reveal any disciplinary actions. Malpractice suits can be found with searches of court records. But beyond that, unless the doctor or their employer chooses to make their "stats" public, I know of no way to find this information other than simply asking them and taking their word for it. Personally, I find those "top doctor" lists of very dubious value. They're usually based either on patient ratings or peer ratings, neither of which are objective. – Carey Gregory Jun 30 '20 at 19:56
  • Thank you, I suppose disciplinary actions and malpractice suits are what I'm most concerned about, so I will start there. – hotmeatballsoup Jun 30 '20 at 20:39
  • FWIW here is the physician disciplinary action link for NY state: apps.health.ny.gov/pubdoh/professionals/doctors/conduct/… – hotmeatballsoup Jun 30 '20 at 20:46

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