American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). For example, if a doctor is 50 years old, but appears to have been practicing in his or her location for fewer than 10 years, that indicates an interruption in his or her practice. 2. There will be only basic information, but this is a prompt to search further with the state licensing board and online searches. You will be asked to guarantee you are using the information for your own, personal reference.​If you believe the physician you are researching is a member of an AOA board, you will want to look at the list of specialties on the AOA website. For others, you'll get the information most quickly at a site like UCompareHealthcare. You can learn if your doctor is listed and which board they are a member of. That contact information can be found on each board's website. A doctor with a different belief system—cultural or religious—may make it difficult to get the care you need or want. She has written several books about patient advocacy and how to best navigate the healthcare system. 2. Patients need to check the credentials of the doctor and the board from which they are certified. Facilities where a doctor has privileges do additional and ongoing checks of the doctor's credentials, which can be an assurance of their validity. The FSMB site will list any actions related to medical malpractice, but you may want to do further web searches for the doctor by name for suits that may be pending. This online physician Locator helps you find a perfect match for your medical needs DoctorFinder provides you with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States. If the doctor is involved in medical research, then their involvement is important to you. How to Check and Verify a Doctor's Board Certification, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. What Do Different Types of Physicians Do? Choosing one of these doctors is similar to choosing a spouse. Each state licenses doctors. Thank you, {{}}, for signing up. If you find the doctor has been involved in research, then you'll want to look to see whether he or she is being paid by one of those manufacturers. You can further research the doctor with the state physician licensing board in each state where he or she is licensed. If you have a preferred hospital, it is important that the doctor has privileges to practice there. ProPublica – Vital Signs . Conversely, you may be interested in a younger doctor who has been taught in medical school to use more modern equipment or may be more up-to-date on research in a specialty area. But if your doctor has been in practice for a few years or more, it might have everything you need to know. How Can You Find a Trustworthy Online Pharmacy? Access to the doctor's credentialing information requires you to register and log in. Longevity may give you a sense of how much more digging you need to do into possible problems. If you can't find your doctor's name where you expect to find it, you will want to make a phone call to the board you believe the doctor is a member of. Each state in the U.S. makes its medical licensing information public. For an older doctor, this may be less important than one who is younger and just getting started in practice. Trisha Torrey is a patient empowerment and advocacy consultant. An interruption may be due to a variety of circumstances. Other answers suggest querying specialty boards. Doctors undergo an extensive educational and residency program, typically lasting between 10 and 15 years. A state or local occupational and professional licensing board will be able to give you this information. You may be interested in seeing a doctor who has been in practice for a long time and is therefore very experienced. Use the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Certification Matters lookup to find out if a doctor is board-certified in the appropriate specialty. However, if your symptoms or diagnosis are chronic, you'll want to establish a relationship with a doctor who can treat you during the rest of your lifetime. Do … A doctor may have been reported problems for anything from a bad attitude to an unclean office to malpractice. These are related to malpractice or other disciplinary actions brought against the physician. You can research a doctor's credentials to be sure he or she is competent to take care of you. Medically reviewed by Isaac O. Opole, MD, PhD, Medically reviewed by Ana Maria Kausel, MD, Medically reviewed by Kashif J. Piracha, MD, Ryan McVay / DigitalVision / Getty Images, Importance for a Doctor to Be Medical Board Certified, How You Can Check a Doctor's Background and Credentials, Find out What You Can Learn From Doctors Rating Websites, How to Save Money on Meds With Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs). With some of them, you may even need to be more intimate than you are with your partner. What Does It Take to Become a Nephrologist? Most do not require you to register to use their sites. You may be able to assess how long a physician has practiced in one place at your states' medical licensing board site, or it may require one of the online doctor listing sites. On the other hand, it may mean they are being paid by drug or other medical manufacturing companies and their recommendations to you might (or might not) be skewed. That may give you a clue as to why the doctor moved. Still, a wise patient will always double-check membership. Get Tips on How to Check Out a Doctor's Medical Malpractice Record, Difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology, Using HON to Find Credible Internet Health Information, An Overview of CPT Codes in Medical Billing. These conflicts may mean you will be prescribed a drug you don't really need, or they may mean you are pushed into a clinical trial that is more for the benefit of the doctor than for you.

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