Checking Credentials

June 1, 2009

I am trying to determine if someone who claims to be a neurosurgeon, actually is one. I have checked The American Board of Medical Specialties - not there. I have checked the state medical board - not there. I have checked the Web site of the hospital which he claims to practice out of - not there. I have verified through drivers license, vehicle registration, and property information that the name he has given me IS his correct name. Is there anywhere else I can check to find a medical license? (Posted on http://forum.physicianspractice.com/)

Question: I am trying to determine if someone who claims to be a neurosurgeon, actually is one. I have checked The American Board of Medical Specialties - not there. I have checked the state medical board - not there. I have checked the Web site of the hospital which he claims to practice out of - not there. I have verified through drivers license, vehicle registration, and property information that the name he has given me IS his correct name. Is there anywhere else I can check to find a medical license? (Posted on http://forum.physicianspractice.com/)

Answer: Call the state medical board right away.

A: It is possible that the neurosurgeon is not board-certified but did complete a neurosurgical residency.

Have you been able to check with the state medical licensing board as someone suggested in a previous note? I cannot recall if all of the licensing boards indicate the physician by specialty or not; check the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Web site for your state. If you know where the residency was completed, there might be information on that state’s Web site about the physician’s license as well.

A: This may be simplistic, but the AMA provides a listing of member physicians and also nonmembers on their Web site. Select “For Patients,” then “Doctor Finder.” You can search under last name and state or specialty. Don’t forget to search nonmembers as well. I don’t think this is completely inclusive, but can be a good place to start.

A: How about the American Board of Medical Specialties?