facebook Does your doctor have a criminal record? How would you know?

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Does your doctor have a criminal record? How would you know?

When you’re looking for a new doctor, you might consider recommendations from friends and family, proximity to your home or work, or whether they’re in your health plan’s network. But how do you know if your doctor has a criminal record?

ProPublica has helpful resources for researching doctors, including information on whether someone has been sanctioned by a professional licensing board.

Even with a disciplinary record for criminal convictions or medical negligence, many doctors continue to practice. Some even change states to hide their past. While hospitals have access to a federal database to look up disciplinary histories of doctors, the public doesn’t.

ProPublica recommends visiting your state medical board’s license lookup page. Some states will provide disciplinary histories, including legal documents, while others charge a fee or require a public records request. A helpful chart from ProPublica shows you how to look up a doctor’s license online and obtain any related disciplinary documents in each state.

Be sure to add this step to your process when looking for a new doctor.