Medical Malpractice: How to Screen Your Doctor
Medical malpractice causes thousands of preventable illnesses, injuries, and deaths every year. As a patient, you have an interest in finding a physician with no record of medical malpractice, particularly before undergoing surgery or other dangerous procedures. Unfortunately, medical malpractice settlements are not readily available to the public in most states, and may even be given special privacy protections by state law.
The Internet provides patients with useful research tools, such as online doctor reviews. Keep in mind however that these often involve little screening to insure that they are posted by actual patients and that the statements made are truthful. Some review sites are more trustworthy than others, for example, Yelp uses an algorithm to determine which reviews are most likely to be illegitimate and hides those from view. Angie’s List has a good reputation for honest reviews, but requires a paid membership. Any consumer review site, no matter how unbiased, cannot tell you if a physician has a record of successful medical malpractice claims.
State licensing websites are another useful tool for patients looking to screen their physicians. All states require that doctors be licensed, and state licensing offices keep records of any disciplinary actions against licensed doctors. Typically, this information is considered public and is available to search online. Although not every medical malpractice settlement will result in disciplinary action against a physician, some of the most egregious offenses do.
In Washington State, medical malpractice records are not publicly available online, however patients can search licensing records through the Washington State Department of Health. If you have suffered due to the medical negligence of a Washington State physician or health care provider, call experienced Seattle medical malpractice attorney Rob Kornfeld today, at 1-(800) 282-4878, or email Rob at Rob@Kornfeldlaw.com
Search medical licensing records for doctors in your state:
Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners Physician Licensee Search
Alaska Professional License Search.
Arizona Medical Board: Licensee Search
The Medical Board of California: Physician License Lookup
Unlike many other states, medical malpractice actions of over $30,000 are public information in the state of California. Search the database for your physician to see if he or she has any record of successful medical malpractice claims.
Colorado Professional License Search
Choose “medical” as the license type to search for a physician.
Florida Department of Health Practitioner Profile Information
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Florida shares medical malpractice claim information through the Office of Insurance Regulation.
Hawaii Licensee Complaints History Search
Hawaii provides a searchable database of complaints regarding professional licensees.
Idaho Board of Medicine: Public Record Information
The State of Idaho provides detailed information about disciplinary actions.
Michigan Department of Community Health: Verify a License
Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure: Physician Search
Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners: Search for a License
New Jersey Health Care Profile
New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department
North Dakota State Board of Medical Examiners
Call the North Dakota Insurance Department for information about medical malpractice claims, provided to the public upon request, at 701-328-2440.
Ohio License Center
South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
(Click on “licensee lookup)