Finding and Selecting Physicians

General Information

For Finding Location and Practice Information
The following sites provide self-reported information on physicians.  Visitors can search by names of physicians or by geographical locations and specialty. Types of information include: education, specialty, hospital admitting privileges, languages spoken and insurances accepted at the office, location.

The American Medical Association  · 800-621-8335 (For AMA members)
More detailed information (per above) can be found on some member physicians throughout the US. Limited contact information may be found on some nonmember physicians.

New York State Department of Health · 888-338-6999 (Toll Free)
Information is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Haitian Creole.

Google Search Engine
Enter “Physician Profiles” in the search box for links to physician profiles in a number of different states.

For Qualification Information (Are they Board Certified?)

American Board of Medical Specialties · 866-275-2267
Two free verifications of certification are available to the public via phone or by clicking on “Who’s Certified” on their web site. Also available in many public libraries is The Official ABMS Directory of Certified Medical Specialists. Hospital and college libraries might have this as well.

For Surgical Experience and Results Information

In some instances, it is possible to learn what a doctor’s experience doing certain surgeries is. The following links indicate the number of particular cancer and heart surgeries a doctor does.

Healthcare Choices  · No Number Listed

For a limited number of states and even more limited types of surgeries, this site provides the numbers of surgeries performed by individual physicians and their risk-adjusted mortality rates.


New York State Department of Health

Click on ‘Center for Consumer Health Care Information’ then on ‘Cardiac Surgery Reports.’

For Legal and Disciplinary Action Information
What legal actions (malpractice, criminal convictions, hospital restrictions and so on) have been taken against a doctor or physician’s assistant? Why were they taken? Note that charges of professional misconduct are usually revealed only if investigations of those charges have resulted in legal or disciplinary actions.

Federation of State Medical Boards · No Number Listed
Disciplinary Action histories for specified physicians are available for a fee of $9.95 per physician. Ordering options: Online or by mail.

New York State Health Department, Office of Professional Medical Conduct
800-663-6114 (For disciplinary actions prior to 1990)
A search for disciplinary actions can be conducted by entering a physician’s name or license number as well as by license type (MD, DO, RPA).

Google Search Engine
Enter ‘Physicians + Disciplinary Actions” in search box. This will bring up various sites, some of which link to an individual state’s listing of disciplinary actions.