Few relationships require the trust that needs to exist between patients and their doctors. Over 3,000 doctors a year are disciplined each year in the United States for sexual misconduct, negligence, and incompetence. The M.D. behind their name does not guarantee protection from dangerous people who happen to have a medical license. For a quick, easy, and comprehensive background check of your doctor, use one of the many online sites like checkpeople.com. You can also use Google to search for reviews of the numerous options for online background sites. They all have their pros and cons, so find the one that works best for your needs and budget. 

Why you should do a background check on your doctor

Choosing a doctor is an important decision, and given how some insurance companies leave you with limited choices, it can be hard to decide which is the best choice. A quick background check can reveal information that will allow you to make an informed decision about the doctor you choose. Using an online background check site can also give you an overview of who the doctor is as a person, as well as information relevant to how they practice medicine. 

Criminal records

Doctors are required to maintain an active license issued by their state’s medical board. Each state has different policies about criminal records and licensing, so a valid medical license is not a guarantee that the doctor does not have a criminal record. Some state boards do not even run a criminal background check on the doctors it licenses. 

An online background check will list arrest records, charges filed for both felony and misdemeanors, convictions, and incarceration records. With a criminal history background, you will be able to see if your doctor has ever been arrested or charged with a crime. 

Education and employment background

Did your doctor attend a third-rate medical school or graduate at the top of their class from the most prestigious school in the country? Perhaps even more importantly, are they representing the truth in where the claim to have gone to school and practiced medicine? A background check will help answer these questions, giving you peace of mind that your doctor is representing themselves correctly. 

There are also things on an employment history that may give you pause. It is not uncommon for doctors to work for different facilities at the beginning of their career as they are completing internships, residencies, and fellowships for the experience. However, if this trend has continued throughout their career, you might wonder why they keep leaving different practices or facilities. 

Bankruptcies, tax liens and other signs of financial distress

Your doctor will be in charge of making important decisions regarding your health, so it can be beneficial to know if your doctor has current financial problems that could affect their decision making. It is possible that they could be recommending expensive and unnecessary procedures to bad their bottom lines instead of basing treatment decisions on a high standard of care. 

Pending or past litigation

When talking about a doctor, or other healthcare professionals, the most significant litigation you want to know about is malpractice suits. If your doctor has a history of malpractice claims, ask yourself how long ago did the malpractice claim arise, and what was the final disposition of the suit? 

If it was one malpractice claim eight years ago and proved to be unfounded,  then it is probably not something about which you should be concerned. If there have been several malpractice suits in recent years, that should raise a red flag. 

Final thoughts

Background checks are standard tools used in hiring. Companies want to know the history of employees before considering them for even low-level positions. Yet, doctors, who potentially make life and death decisions, are often not subjected to even a basic background check. It is the role of smart consumers to do a background check on a doctor before trusting them with something as valuable as their healthcare. Background checks are an easy and inexpensive way to attain peace of mind that you have made the best decision possible. 

Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash




I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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