State medical boards
Every state has a board that licenses doctors to practice in their state. In addition, these boards handle disciplinary matters, like suspending or permanently revoking medical licenses.
Most state medical boards have websites where you can find this information free of charge. Exactly what information is available varies from state to state. But in general, you should be able to find out whether your doctor has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. You can also find out about any malpractice suits he or she lost.
You can find a list of state medical boards and their websites via the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Or, you can save yourself time and visit the Administrators in Medicine (AIM) website. AIM is a non-profit organization for state board executives. It compiles licensing and disciplinary information from each state’s medical board in its DocFinder physician directory.
State Department of Health Services
This should be your first stop if you have an upcoming hospital stay. Here, you can find out whether complaints have been made against your hospital of choice. Here’s a list of health services departments for each state.
If your doctor has ever been sued in your state, there’s a record of it. Many of these records are available online, but if they’re not, you can pay for a copy of it—unless it’s confidential. Just call the County Clerk’s office in the county where your doctor practices.