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How can I do a background check on my doctor?

It is imperative that you trust in any doctor who will provide you care. One of the best ways to ensure you can believe in your doctor is to conduct a background check.

Professional information about your doctor is readily available if you know where to look for it. In addition, there are plenty of sources you can use to get a complete picture of who your doctor is and how good he or she is at the job.

Ask your health plan

Consumer Action suggests contacting your health insurer for information about your doctor. The insurer will keep some basic information on doctors within the plan network. If your doctor is from outside your plan, though, your insurer may not have any information on him or her. Typically, you can get details about certifications, licensing and education.

Visit the state medical board

You can also learn quite a bit about your doctor, including gathering information about any disciplinary actions, by checking with the state medical board. The board licenses physicians and also manages those licenses, so it will report on issues with any provider.

Look online

You should also look for reviews and other information online. There are plenty of review websites where other patients will leave their opinions on a health care provider. You can learn a lot that you would not be able to find out through other sources from reading reviews.

Of course, you do need to consider consumer reviews carefully as some people may leave a negative review for reasons that do not accurately reflect the doctor’s true abilities.