In years past it could be a difficult and time-consuming process to find out if a particular doctor had a valid license to practice medicine. With the Internet, however, the process has become far easier and can be undertaken by almost any person at any time. With very limited information, in fact, most states will allow you to find out whether your doctor has a suspended license via a simple online search.
Go to your state's department of health website. Every state has a Department of Health and all of them have websites you can visit. To find your particular state's department of health website, follow the link found at the end of this article.
Browse the website for a license look-up feature. The vast majority of states' health department websites have a feature that lets you look up doctors and check on their license status, including whether their license has been suspended. If you can't find such a feature on your website, you'll need to contact your state department of health by phone to inquire further. This isn't necessary in most instances.
In the license look-up feature, enter any information you have about your doctor. In most cases a last name will be sufficient, but it's even better if you can provide details such as the first name, county of practice and any other relevant information that will help to narrow the search parameters.
Verify that all of the information is correct before searching. Double-check to make sure that you spelled everything correctly and that everything is in order before commencing the search.
Sift through the results that are returned by your state department of health and check to make sure that your doctor is properly licensed and that his or her license has not been suspended.
In some cases, the search results will also allow you to see if your doctor has any formal complaints against him, has had prior suspensions or has received any previous disciplinary action.
If you don't find your doctor using such a search, don't just assume that she isn't licensed to practice. Instead, contact your state department of health via phone to verify everything, and, if you find out that she's practicing without a valid license, to report her for the infraction.
A legal clerk and law school student at The Thomas M. Cooley School of Law who lives in southeastern Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree in English from Western Michigan University. Geoffrey has over a decade of experience working as a freelance writer and has completed hundreds of articles during that time.