Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Do You Know About Your Doctor?

by Tom Koziol
2008© All Rights Reserved

I am the Executive Secretary for a non-profit with a focus on senior citizens and senior caregivers. One of the biggest worries seniors have is the quality of their medical provider, i.e. are they credentialed and complaints, if any, against them.

Truth is, this one area generated a lot of email. Here is just one we received:

• “A site that would be good for all seniors and their caregivers would be one that would lead you to a review of the doctors or the site that list if they are in good standing or whatever the medical profession has to help consumers know if they are going to a good doctor or not. With seniors needing to go to more and more doctors with more and more specialties, it sure would help.”

This prompted me to see what was already on the Internet aimed at her points. I googled “doctor’s+credentials” (just like that) and this is a bit of what I found.

It seems the site most mentioned by articles, blogs, etc. was the American Board of Medical Specialists and allow up to 5 free searches a day.

The American Medical Association has two sites:

http://www.webapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/home.html?apsamahg.htm
http://www.webapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/html/patient.html

Their second site is geared for patients.

Other resources are in your county or state. For example, if you live in California, you would go to the website of the State Department of Consumer Affairs. Other states have State Boards of Registration. All states, but not all counties, have a Medical Society. Your local librarian may have a book called the Annual Book of Licensed Doctors.

I also found sites wanting payment for searches. If you want to use them, please do. However, I won’t mention them here.

By the way, the above sites are universal and not limited to only gerontology specialists. I hope this helps anyone looking for a doctor and his/her credentials in the United States.

Senior2Senior.org is your senior citizen, caregiver connection. We are a non-profit devoted to making your life easier, regardless of your temperament, age or condition.

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