Pick a teaching hospital
Paper Artwork by Kyle Bean, Photograph by Mitch Payne for Reader's Digest
“For complex surgical procedures, you’re generally better off at teaching hospitals, which usually stay at the forefront of health research. Medical students and residents ask questions, providing more eyes and ears to pay attention and prevent errors. Teaching hospitals have lower complication rates and better outcomes.” —Evan Levine, MD, cardiologist with ProHealth Physicians Cardiology in Danbury, CT
Beware freestanding ERs
“Those freestanding ERs popping up all over? They typically don’t have anywhere near the resources of hospital ERs, yet they cost just as much. Go there for small bumps and bruises. For something serious (chest pain, a badly broken bone), get to a trauma center where specialists and surgeons work.” —James Pinckney, MD, an ER doctor, founder of Diamond Physicians in Dallas, Texas. Check out these other 50 secrets an ER staff won’t tell you.