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It pays to check on your doctor before they check on you

Your doctor may be licensed and board-certified, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. A spotless record may look nice, but scratching the surface could reveal all kinds of dirt.

A recent investigation found that hundreds of physicians who surrendered their medical licenses were still practicing in another state, often without any public disclosure. While surrendering a license to avoid sanctions may not impact a doctor’s ability to practice in a new location, it can be one of many red flags that can indicate you should stay clear.

Unhealthy authentication

The best way for you to uncover buried faults might be a thorough search through their professional past:

  • Licensed: States typically expect doctors to keep up-to-date with licensing to be able to practice medicine. While you’re on the lookout for physicians that may have surrendered their license elsewhere, you should also be wary of doctors who continue to practice after the state board levies a suspension – or revokes their right to practice altogether.
  • Board-certified: When a board bestows certification on a physician, it generally means they’ve earned a higher tier of specialization. Problems can arise when the boards doing the backing don’t have any concrete qualifications of their own. You’ll probably want to see industry-accepted endorsers like the American Board of Medical Specialties.
  • Untainted: Malpractice claims and disciplinary measures are often readily available from the Michigan Board of Medicine, and from other states where they previously practiced. But official actions may be a starting point for your investigation, instead of the finish line. Panels may deliver warnings to physicians by way of lesser charges, while the primary cause could be a reason for alarm.

When your doctor’s record may not be as clean as it seems, you could be at risk of receiving less than stellar health care. Digging deeper could reveal something uglier than what’s on the surface.

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