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How You Can Go About Checking Your Doctor's Credentials

Mar 29, 2008
If you are concerned with locating information in respect to your doctor's training and whether has ever experienced trouble with the authorities, this article concerns itself with the checking of doctor's credentials.

Information regarding your doctor's qualification, training and experience can be obtained at any of the following places: the doctor's office itself, a local hospital, any HMO of which the doctor is a member, or even a local medical society to which the doctor belongs. There are also several state licensing boards that provide information regarding certain disciplinary actions, but obtaining this sort of information can be onerous. As well as these, there are various online organizations that provide information and contain lists of the various medical licensing board websites.

The American Medical Association or the AMA provides information on the training and certification of around 680,000 physicians currently practicing in the United States; however, this board will not give details of any disciplinary actions. The American Board of Medical Specialties or the ABMS can also be used to verify whether or not a physician is really certified by any one of the 24 recognized boards in the country. This site is generally used for checking the certification status of a physician whose location is unknown.

Most of the states have different websites with searchable databases, but the amount of information given out depends on each state. Regarding disciplinary actions, some sites provide summaries, others provide extensive documentation, while some only mention if a disciplinary action has been taken or not. A few boards do provide information whether or not criminal convictions and malpractice suits are on record.

The U.S. Office of the Inspector General has two separate databanks that gathers information about various healthcare providers and physicians. This information however, cannot be accessed by the general public but is only available to credentialing organizations, government agencies and other parties.

The National Practitioner Data Bank or the NPDB was developed to obstruct problematic physicians. It is mandatory for licensing boards to report any adverse action that could suspend, revoke or restrict a license for reasons related to a physician's incompetence or misconduct.

The Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank or the HIPDB was developed to combat abuse and fraud in healthcare and healthcare insurance. It gathers all sort of information regarding criminal conviction, certification and licensure action and civil judgments, exclusions from state and federal healthcare programs and adjudicated decisions. This information however, is only available to federal, state and other health plan agencies.

A doctor's credentials and background check can be done in a variety of ways, depending on what the patient is looking for. For instance, if you are currently consulting a doctor and want to find out whether or not any disciplinary action has been issued against him, then the Federation of State Medical Boards has more disciplinary reports than any other medical board in the United States at present. Checking your doctor's credentials is absolutely necessary in this day and age.
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For detailed information about how you can go about checking physician's credentials go to http://www.physiciandocuments.com
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