Smart Doctor Searches

With a growing trend of patients not seeking medical care in order to save during tough economic times, you’d better make sure your visits to the doctor count. And the first stop is choosing a doctor who’s right for you.

Perhaps you’ve been seeing the same doc for years. Or perhaps you’re new to an area and are starting from scratch. Either way, a little investigative work can go a long way toward finding that someone special with an M.D. at the end of his or her name.

Here are some helpful sites for finding a doctor. You may not always find a physician listed on each of these sites, but they are a great starting point.

  • The American Medical Association’s doctor finder is easy to use. You can search by specific name or specialty. Results will initially pull AMA members and list applicable information, such as where they went to medical school and did their residency. If a physician does not come up in the member search, you have the option to search non- members as well.
  • On the American Board of Medical Specialties’ website, you can find out whether or not a physician is board certified. Physicians who are board certified must have specific specialty or sub-specialty training and pass exams. (Some physicians are board-eligible, which means they have not yet taken – or passed – their exams.) To use the search function, you must register with the site.
  • DocFinder is a portal to access medical boards for each state. Once you click on your state, then you can search for a physician on that state’s site.
  • If you are specifically looking for a surgeon, The American College of Surgeons lets you search their database of fellows (FACS). You can search by last name or you can simply search for surgeons within a set radius of a ZIP code. You can specify specialty and sort results by distance.
  • Family Doctor lets you search for just that. The search is location-based (by City/state or ZIP) and will show results of active members of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

If you suffer from a particular illness or have health concerns related to a specific issue, remember to include specialties in your searches.

Your health is one of your most important assets. Finding a doctor that you can work with to manage your wellness is critical in keeping you healthy. And that starts with you.

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