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GROUP OFFERS TIPS FOR CHOOSING DOCTORS

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In light of the state's revocation this week of a West Jordan doctor's medical license, the Utah Medical Association says there are things that consumers should do to protect themselves from questionable physicians.

The state's Commerce Department revoked the medical license of Dr. Robert C. Davis after years of procedural squabbles with the doctor two months after he was convicted in federal court of 32 counts of fraud.But the state had been pursuing Davis for upwards of six years, leading some to say state officials acted too slowly and Davis was allowed to practice while legal proceedings dragged on.

Dr. George Middleton, president of the Utah Medical Association, said consumers should take several steps themselves before going to any doctor for the first time:

- Don't rely on the telephone book when looking for a doctor. Any doctor can list themselves in the yellow pages under any category they choose, regardless of qualifications.

- Check out the doctor's affiliations. Does he or she have practicing privileges at a local hospital? If not, that should be a red flag to you that something may be amiss.

- Is the doctor a member of the Utah Medical Association? The association has its own disciplinary procedures, which are often quicker than disciplinary action by the Department of Commerce.

- Is the doctor board certified by an accredited specialty board? Consumers can call 1-800-776-2378 to see if their doctor is certified.