How Do I Search for Information on Doctors?

1.

Check to see whether the doctor you want information about is accredited through the American Medical Association, which about 40 percent of doctors are. You can do this by going on the association's website and searching the directory. You must know at least the doctor's last name and the state where he practices to access his records. Once you find the listing for the doctor, you can learn where the doctor is licensed, which hospitals he can practice in, where he received his education, which health insurance plans he accepts and contact information for his office.

2.

Look on the American Board of Medical Specialties website to see whether the doctor is licensed through a specialty board. This will be helpful if you are not sure whether your doctor has expertise in the area you are seeking.

3.

Check for consumer reviews about this doctor. You can search one or several websites where patients log complaints about doctors, rate their services and list important information. Although you must weigh each complaint on its own merits, it may be a good idea to see whether a doctor has a history of complaints on several websites. Sites that may be helpful include healthgrades.com and mdnationwide.org.

4.

Check to see whether the doctor has been subject to any disciplinary action by her state medical board. Docfinder.org tracks discipline records for doctors in 18 states. For doctors in other states, you can visit that state's medical board website and check for discipline records.

5.

Conduct a basic Internet search about the doctor. You may find research articles he has authored that will give you insight into his expertise, honors or awards he has received or more patient reviews. It's always a good idea to look for the positive information that's out there, too.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the doctor has a common name, make sure to also search by city or specialty.
  • Finding a doctor you trust can be a difficult task, especially if you're new to a community or are seeking specialty help without any guidance. With reports available on the Internet, it is now easier than ever to research a doctor's background before your visit. You can check their license, length of experience, educational background and patient reviews before ever setting foot in their office. It's also a good idea to check with your state medical board and see if they have been subject to discipline.