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A Medical Doctors Credentials - How You Can Check Them

Jul 15, 2008
The doctor-patient relationship is largely one of faith. As patients, we by-and-large accept the recommendations of our doctors whilst having absolutely no knowledge of the science behind the medicines they're prescribing or the training behind the surgical procedures that they might be about to perform. Nonetheless, our health, or indeed our life is our greatest asset so it is sometimes prudent to do a little background checking of a doctor before we entrust him or her with such an asset. This article will look at how we can go about obtaining information in respect to medical doctor's credentials.

If you're after information regarding your doctor's credentials you will be able to obtain the information from the doctor's office, a local hospital, a local medical society, or even the HMO of which the doctor is a member. There are a few State licensing boards that give out information pertaining to any disciplinary actions taken but obtaining this information might be a laborious process. However, information regarding a doctors credential is easily accessible through many online facilities now.

The American Medical Association's (AMA) Physician Select provides information on the certification status and licensing of more than 700,000 doctors that are currently practicing in the United States. However, the information given does not include any details in respect to disciplinary action that may have been taken against the doctor. You can search for medical doctor credentials only and only by one state at a time. Every state has a website that contains searchable databases but the amount of information issued by the website will vary considerably from state to state. As far as disciplinary action is concerned, some websites will provide brief summaries whilst others will provide in depth documentation. There are some that briefly mention whether or not a disciplinary action has been taken against a particular doctor.

Some state boards will issue information about criminal convictions and malpractice suits but obtaining such information from the appropriate courthouses is more likely to yield precise data. It is essential to make sure that the doctor you are getting your advice from is adequately trained and well qualified. Here are a few ways to check a doctor credential:

* Find out if your doctor has been trained in an established institute or center or hospital.
* Check if he/she is affiliated with any facility.
* Check if he is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
* Find out the number of years of experience he or she has.

There are two databanks in the U.S. Office of the Inspector General. They work together to collect information regarding various doctors and other healthcare providers. However, this information cannot be accessed by the general public and is only available to doctor credentialing organizations and the government.

The NPDB or The National Practitioner Data Bank was created to obstruct the movement of problematic doctors and practitioners. It is compulsory for all licensing boards to report any action that restricts, suspends or revokes a license for reasons that are related to the doctor's professional conduct or competence. Such boards are required to report the professional approach of a physician that could adversely affect his or her membership. The HIPDB or The Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank were created to combat abuse and fraud in health care delivery and health insurance. The information can only be accessed by state and federal agencies.
About the Author
For more information on how you can find out about your
doctors credentials go to
http://www.physiciandocuments.com
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