If you've just moved, as we have, and it's time to find a new doctor, how do you at least rule out the really bad apples?
Well, try the cool interactive map put together by William Heisel for the Reporting on Health site. (You might start with the version embedded above.)
Heisel's been trolling the records of state medical boards across the country this year. And he's found all kinds of problems you'd probably like to know about before ever setting foot in a hospital or doctor's office.
There's the California ER doc charged with driving under the influence on her way to the hospital on Valentine's Day last year. After the cops released her, she worked the overnight shift "legally drunk" for at least half the period, he writes.
A recent Heisel post tells the story of a Kansas doctor disciplined by the state medical board. The county hospital that employed him decided his offenses were serious enough to fire him. Eventually, the state medical board censured him, too. But for what? You can't tell from the records, Heisel notes, because all the specifics have been redacted.
Finally, just up the road from us, Heisel uncovers the case of an anesthesiologist at Children's National Medical Center who was found to be taking painkillers that were supposed to be used for children's surgeries.
Even if the reading isn't always uplifting, do yourself a favor and check out Heisel's regular reports on medical mischief, now on a map for easy access.