State medical boards are regulatory agencies for physicians. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, state medical boards issue licenses, investigate complaints, evaluate competency and ethical matters, discipline doctors who violate the law, and oversee their rehabilitation when appropriate. The final ruling in a state medical board's discipline of a doctor is open to the public; you have a right to see the information if you seek it. You can find out if a doctor has been disciplined by contacting the state issuing the license.
Things You'll Need
- Exact spelling of the doctor’s last name
- The doctor’s first name if the last name is common
- Name of state or states where the doctor has practiced
Locate the relevant medical board. The Federation of State Medical Boards has an online directory of state medical boards you can consult for the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Internet addresses of medical boards. Depending on the doctor’s credentials, such as medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy, you might have to choose between two medical boards within a state. If you are unsure which board is the right one, try each.
Confirm that the doctor’s license is in good standing by doing a search to verify the license. If there have been discipline rulings against the doctor, that information might be shown on the license profile.
Determine whether the medical board’s Web site posts discipline rulings (sometimes called “board actions”) online. While all 50 states and the District of Columbia have Web sites, not all make discipline information available online. With some states, you will have to contact the board directly with your request for information about disciplinary actions.
Type the doctor’s name in the search engine for online disciplinary records or contact the person listed as the keeper of disciplinary records for the state.