Did you know you can easily research your doctor before you ever become a patient or, as I did, several years later from the comfort of your own home?
The Texas Board of Medical Examiners website www.tsbme.state.tx.us maintains a database of licensed physicians, physician assistants and acupuncturists.
You can enter as little information as your doctor’s name & city and be presented with a wealth of facts and figures.
The Board does not verify all of the data displayed. The Texas Medical Board obtains verification of the following information: identity and age, medical school education, examination scores, professional training and ability and professional character.
On the first page, it shows the physician’s name, license number, degree, specialty and the address of his or her practice. After clicking on their name, you’ll see gender, year of birth, issuance date of license and expiration date of annual registration permit. That lets me know that at least for now all is well with my doctor’s license status.
Even more interesting, a little further down is the disciplinary status. I was happy to see NONE in that spot. The primary type of practice is listed and if reported by the physician, a secondary practice area. My doctor’s primary practice area is Family Practice and he did not report a secondary practice. Next, the physician reports how many years he has practiced medicine in the United States or Canada and then how many in Texas. I see he has actively practiced medicine for 16 years with 13 of those being in Texas. I’m feeling pretty good about this guy.
The medical education is then listed: what medical school the doctor graduated from and when. This information is verified by the Texas Medical Board. The physician can then add more information to his medical education profile. For instance, my doctor reports he also graduated from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Other useful information follows such as if the practice provides language translation services. This information alone could be the impetus for someone with a language barrier to access this website. In the case of my doctor, he does list that he provides Spanish translation services. Next, just as important, is whether or not the practice accepts Medicaid. This one does.
If you are hospitalized, is it important that it be a specific hospital, either for insurance policies or personal preference? Here you’ll find the list of hospitals at which the doctor has privileges.
Specialty Board Certification is next and my doctor reports that he holds a specialty certification in anti-aging issued by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine.
A red flag area comes next which my doctor passes with flying colors. This lists the Texas Medical Board actions against this physician and any licensing restrictions. This also includes any formal complaints filed by the TMB that are currently pending. I like the word NONE again. Next, comes any self-reported disciplinary actions from other state boards and a criminal history which is also verified by the TMB. I’m happy to see no other disciplinary actions and no criminal history.
Malpractice Information is listed next and I am again happy to discover that the board has not investigated my physician for malpractice.
Next, the doctor has the option of listing awards, honors, publications and academic appointments. My doctor lists several awards and notes that he is an assistant professor at our city’s medical school.
As you might guess, I’ve decided to keep my doctor on. Not only do I benefit as his patient, but after doing my homework, I can be assured that he is a credit to his profession. Sadly, this is not always the case. But with these tools at our fingertips, more of us can be assured that we are receiving the quality care we deserve.