Has your doctor been disciplined by the Virginia Board of Medicine?
There are plenty of websites that will provide you with background information and ratings of doctors for a fee, but did you know most of the information is available free of charge from the Virginia Board of Medicine? The Virginia Board of Medicine website will tell you where the doctor went to school, whether the doctor is Board Certified in a specialty, whether the doctor has ever been disciplined by the Virginia Board of Medicine, and whether the doctor has paid a medical malpractice claim in the past ten years. Here is a link to the website: http://www.vahealthprovider.com/search.asp
One of the benefits of this website is that most medical malpractice settlements are confidential. So while a medical malpractice lawyer usually can not tell you about a past claim against a doctor, the doctor must share the information with the Board of Medicine which in turn posts it on this website.
In my opinion the fact that a doctor has settled one case does not by itself mean that you should avoid that doctor, but it is useful information to consider along with the doctor's training and experience.