Once you have a list of doctors you are interested in, it’s wise to invest some time and energy in learning more about their skills and training, as well as the quality of care they provide. When choosing a doctor, consider several sources of information rather than relying solely on a doctor-rating website. Here are some resources to help you:
- Determine whether the doctor is Board Certified by searching online or by calling 1-866-ASK-ABMS (1-866-275-2267). Many websites include self-reported physician information. A doctor may list a specialty but that doesn’t guarantee that he or she is Board Certified in that particular area of medicine.
- Verify that the doctor is licensed.
- You are encouraged to check with their state medical board to find out if the doctor is licensed. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) provides a list of the state medical boards at this address: http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html.
- FSMB makes available for a fee additional licensing history reports at https://s1.fsmb.org/docinfo/. This information includes additional information pertaining to disciplinary sanctions, education, medical specialty and practice locations.
- Find out if a consumer or other group has rated doctors in the area where you live and make sure you know how reliable the ratings are. Be aware that many online physician rating sites do not consistently moderate content or review comments before posting. This means people can post negative or glowing comments about doctors they’ve never even seen.