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How to conduct a doctor background check

How to conduct a doctor background checkConducting a doctor background check isn't as extreme as it may seem. After all, if you were buying a new car or a washing machine you would probably put a lot of research into different makes and models – and you would probably ask for a reference from a plumber or an electrician. Why should a medical practitioner, someone to whom you entrust your health, be any different?

Finding a good doctor depends on a number of factors: not only do you need someone with a good beside manner; you need someone with the experience and training to make you well. Although individual preferences will dictate your choice of doctor on a personal level, information about their qualifications and experience should outweigh any other considerations when dealing with complex conditions.


For example, a pediatric surgeon with plenty of experience of performing a particular medical procedure is preferable to one who has only performed the procedure on a couple of occasions, and when it comes to making a decision about who should operate on your only child you will want the best possible doctor at the operating table.

Although a personal recommendation or a professional reputation can be a great guide in choosing a doctor, it’s worth asking plenty of questions about the doctor’s medical training, experience and continuous professional development. All of these things can be verified with a doctor background check.

More worrying issues such as kickbacks for referring patients to particular hospitals, padding of medical bills by prescribing unnecessary care, wrong site surgery or medical negligence are even more important things to check.

Accessing information can be difficult if you don’t know where to look so it's advisable to go through an agency. A doctor background check conducted by a professional agency can cost as little as $40 but a thorough check that includes all practice history can cost up to $120. Most doctor background checks cover the following points: full name, practice address, academic background, year of certification, states where the doctor is licensed to practice, awards or honors, specialty subjects and qualifications in those areas, professional work history, residency training, any Medicare sanctions and any state medical disciplinary board actions.
Avoid anything advertised as a free check; they’re usually a waste of time.

As malpractice suits increase and horror stories about botched operations, cosmetic surgery disasters, and shady dealings between doctors and pharmaceutical companies or hospital boards surface, conducting a doctor background check seems a logical route to take. You are putting your health, and possibly your life in the hands of a stranger; wouldn't you like to know a little about their background?