In any case, patient advocates say your best bet for rooting out doctors with a checkered past is to do your own digging into their histories. And dig you must. No federal database tracking physician licensing and disciplinary records is available to the public for free. The National Practitioner Databank was established by Congress in to be a clearinghouse of information on sanctions by state licensing authorities, malpractice awards, and hospital disciplinary actions.
It provides the most complete background check, but only hospitals, doctors, managed care organizations, and government agencies are permitted to access it. Even so, you can still find critical information with a few mouse clicks or a phone call.
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Here are some of the best sources:. Depending on the state, you might get details on disciplinary actions or information on malpractice awards.
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But each state varies on what information is made public, how often it's updated, and how doctors are disciplined. The best link to websites, addresses, and phone numbers for all 50 states' licensing boards can be found at the website of the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Check DocFinder, a free database that allows you to check data from 20 states with a single search. DocFinder is sponsored by Administrators in Medicine , which provides administrative support to medical licensing and regulatory authorities.
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But only 20 states have linked their physician licensing data to the site. The group provides links to the other 30 individual state medical boards, including boards for California, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Provided by the Federation of State Medical Boards , DocInfo profiles list disciplinary actions, details on the basis for any sanctions, educational history, where and when the doctor has held licenses, and any certifications by the American Board of Medical Specialties. It's probably the most complete publicly accessible database, as medical boards from all states are members of the non-profit agency, and hospitals and other medical-services providers use the database to check doctor credentials and disciplinary records.
Levine of Public Citizen says the fee could be worth it, considering that doctors sanctioned in one state will sometimes move on to another. Otherwise, the information here is sparse—name, contact information, AMA membership status, specialty board certifications, and what the physician says is her or her specialty.
It has no disciplinary records. Doctor Disciplinary Search. Featured Partnership for Excellence Hospital.
Hats off to this guide! When I was expecting my first child I used this guide to find doctors and have since passed it along to friends. Makes a great baby shower gift! Audiologist 11 salaries reported. Cardiology Physician 4 salaries reported.
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Clinical Psychologist 50 salaries reported. Dermatologist 13 salaries reported. Emergency Medicine Physician 65 salaries reported.
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Endocrinologist 4 salaries reported. Exercise Physiologist 7 salaries reported. Gastroenterologist 18 salaries reported.
General Practitioner 8 salaries reported. Infectious Disease Physician 28 salaries reported.
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Internal Medicine Physician 4 salaries reported. Nephrologist 4 salaries reported. Neurologist 12 salaries reported. Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician 6 salaries reported. Oncologist 7 salaries reported.