Background checks. Employers do them. They’re done on gun purchasers. Uber checks the backgrounds of their drivers. But have you checked the background of your doctor? How to you make sure that your physician, or a physician you are considering to undertake a procedure on your behalf, is in good standing?
After all, you may have received the doctor’s name via a referral from your insurance, or from another doctor, or even from a trusted friend. But what do you really know?
Vetting your doctor will take some work, and at this point there is, unfortunately no foolproof way to do so, said physician Michael Carome, Director, Health Research Group of Public Citizen, a Washington based consumer advocacy organization.
There is a National Practitioner Data Bank, but unfortunately, it is not available to the public. That’s the bad news. The good news is, says Carome, that “Under federal law, suspended licenses must be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank,” and hospitals and state medical boards have access to them. A doctor who’s had his or her license suspended in one state, moves, then applies for a license in another state faces the risk that the new state’s medical board will check their record in the national bank.
But what are some basic steps you can take to look into a doctor’s credentials and record?
Believe it or not, a good old-fashioned Google search may prove beneficial. Try that first– but don’t stop there, because if you live in Florida, there are some useful links below:
LOOK UP YOUR DOCTOR
- Here is the Florida Department of Health link, where you can look up a Florida medical license. Search for the doctor by name, city, county, etc. Once you have the exact information, including the license number, you now have the data you’ll need to look up more information.
- You can verify the physician’s license, see a profile including medical school, residency training, awards, committees, board certifications, and more…. Including a criminal background check verified by the State of Florida… Florida Doctor Online Profiles
- And perhaps the most useful public records link for looking up physician backgrounds: ) Florida Doctor Paid Malpractice Claims. The Florida Department of Insurance maintains this site, which is fortunate for citizens of the state– no all states have such information available. Malpractice claims paid by insurance for doctors and hospitals. Forewarned is forearmed.
Unfortunately, pending malpractice cases, claims from other states, a claim that the physician may have paid themselves are not listed in the site above. Nor will disciplinary actions brought by a hospital against the physician.
You can also order a report on an individual doctor through a service of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). For $9.95 per search at docinfo.org you can see a doctor’s license history,alternate names and any disciplinary actions taken against them.
Doctors, Disciplinary Action, and Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a doctor’s actions, you need an attorney. Your attorney can investigate the doctor’s complete background and help determine whether medical malpractice occurred.
The attorneys at Thomas and Pearl want to speak to you.
$150 MILLION in verdicts and settlements
Thomas & Pearl attorneys have the skills and training, plus the financial resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. Ask about our experience as attorneys helping victims of medical error or medical malpractice in Florida.
Ask about the more than $150M (MILLION) dollars in recent and past jury verdicts and settlements we have gained for our clients.
We’ll evaluate your case situation with you, develop a strategy to win or successfully negotiate the highest amount of compensation for you.
Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing in court. And you pay nothing unless we get that successful resolution for you.
Contact Thomas & Pearl at any time.