Check Up on Health Care Professionals | Reader's Digest

Check Up on Health Care Professionals

Get better health care by doing your research.

By Christine Many

The Internet can be a valuable tool not only for researching your medical conditions, but also for learning more about who’s caring for you and your loved ones. Consult the following sites to educate yourself about how doctors and nurses get their credentials and other patient concerns.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS): You can search for a new doctor or check on your current doctor’s qualifications with the ABMS, the umbrella organization for the 24 approved medical specialty boards in the U.S.

Administrators in Medicine: This site provides links to state licensing boards, where you can check your doctors’ credentials. Some states also list doctors who have been taken to court recently.

American College of Surgeons: If you need to have surgery, check out this information from the American College of Surgeons on the qualifications you should look for when choosing a surgeon.

Best Doctors: Each year Best Doctors surveys tens of thousands of leading specialists worldwide and asks them which doctors they themselves would go to for treatment. The site’s Best DocFinder tool allows you to search by specialty in a geographic area. For a fee of $25, you get two Best Doctors referrals.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing: This site has links to the boards of nursing in the U.S. You can consult your state’s board to find out the qualifications for nurses in your state and — in some states — check on whether a particular nurse is licensed.