What is a Physician Background Check?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2019
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A physician background check is an endeavor that researches physicians and the quality of care that they provide. When seeking medical care, a patient is totally at the mercy of the doctor. To help ensure they are working with a quality care provider, many are turning to the physician background check for further confirmation.

While a physician background check may not prevent all problems, it may at least provide some peace of mind. In any medical practice, mistakes can still creep in and things can still go wrong, no matter how thorough a doctor may be. A physician background check cannot prevent mistakes, but it may point a patient toward a doctor that makes fewer of them.

A number of components of a physician background check can be done by an individual, simply using the Internet as a tool. State medical boards and the American Medical Association can provide some information such as certification and education. This provides a basic detail of what kind of training a doctor has had, but it does little more than that.

It may also be possible to look at court records online in some states. Many states include both civil and criminal records in their searchable databases. Some states may charge a fee, but many others are totally free, at least for the initial search and some basic information. This may provide information concerning lawsuits for malpractice.


To simplify the process, many simply choose to hire a service for a physician background check. Many Internet sites offer a physician background check for a fee. Most have a searchable database which will hit on a specific doctor in question before a fee is paid. If the doctor is in the company's database, it will tell you and offer you a chance to pay for the full report. If the doctor is not there, no payment is made.

A physician background check that is paid for should include a wealth of information that would take hours to gather alone. It includes the basics such as education and certifications, as well as disciplinary actions, legal issues and perhaps even patient opinions. Most cost less than $15 US Dollars (USD).

For those who wish to choose an option that is less costly, there are websites that also rate physicians using that physician's own patients. While not a true physician background check, it may offer some insight. However, those using such a site may have a motivation for doing so. It is impossible to say for sure whether their griefs or praises are legitimate.



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