This page will describe a few of the ways we look up information about doctors online. The links below will take you to websites controlled by others. We are not responsible for the content.
We usually begin a Florida doctor search by using the following 3 Florida government websites, and in this order:
1) Look up a Florida medical license (will open in new window)
We start with this site to get the basic physician identifying information to be able to use the other sites properly. To search for a physician here, you don’t need to know the precise city or county for the doctor’s office, o even the exact spelling of their first or middle name. Once we find the doctor here, this site gives us an exact name, address, and license number to help with other searches. When looking at the doctor’s license information you will also see a direct link to look up the doctor on the next site on our list ( the Practitioner Profiles site).
2) Look up a Florida doctor’s online profile (Physician Profiles) (will open in new window)
This site offers several types of information about the physician, including board certifications, medical school attended residency training, other states where licensed, community involvement, awards, committees, criminal convictions, and some discipline and malpractice information. Unfortunately, the information is supplied by the physicians themselves and the site warns you that none of the information is verified by the State of Florida, except, supposedly, the criminal background check. The absence of negative information about the physician on this site is not all that reassuring, but the presence of negative information may be useful. When you are looking at a physician’s malpractice claims information on this site you will also see a link to the next site on our list (paid malpractice claims).
3) Look up a Florida doctor’s history of previously paid malpractice claims
This site, which is maintained on the Internet by the Florida Department of Financial Services (f/k/a Dept. of Insurance), offers information on the claims paid by malpractice insurance companies for doctors, hospitals, and even lawyers in Florida. Very few states offer this type of information to the public. You should do your search in the category of “all” counties because doctors do move around within the state, and watch out for variations of both physician and hospital names. Hospitals seem to change their names frequently, and we have seen physician data sometimes listed using the physician’s middle name, and sometimes not. We usually run a search just using the last name. While this paid malpractice claim database often has very useful information, unfortunately there is a great deal of information we know it does NOT have, including:
Don’t forget to Google the doctor.
It is amazing how much you can learn about some people if you just search using their name in quotations.
We believe one or two paid malpractice claims over a long career may not tell you very much, at least if you don’t know the details of the cases. If your friend was in a car accident through their own fault, you probably wouldn’t refuse to ever ride in their car again. On the other hand, if your friend was in several accidents over a short period of time, you might decide it was safer not to ride with that friend, and you certainly wouldn’t let your children do so. When a doctor has several malpractice claims it is worrisome, but with only one or two over a long period of time, the devil, as always, is in the details.
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