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How do I Find Out If a Person Is a Doctor?

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Doctors must be licensed to practice medicine by the state medical board in the state in which they practice. But how do you know if someone really has a license? You can verify that a person has a license to practice medicine by contacting the state medical board. In addition to verifying the licensure of a doctor, you can find out whether his license has ever been suspended or if he’s had other problems with the licensing board. You can also verify that he completed medical school and is board certified in a particular medical specialty.

Ask the person for his license number. If you do not have the license number, you can still find out if he is a doctor, but it is easier to look up the information if you have the license number.

Contact the state medical board in the state in which the person works. Provide the person’s full name and his license number if you have it. Ask if he is a licensed physician. In some states, you can do this online instead of calling if you prefer. See Resources for a listing of all state medical boards.

Contact the Federation of State Medical Boards to find out if the person is licensed as a doctor in another state or if he has had his license suspended in another state.

Federation of State Medical Boards PO Box 619850 Dallas, TX 75261-9850 817-868-4000

Notify the state medical board if someone claims to be a doctor but does not appear to have a valid license to practice medicine.


State medical boards only license and regulate certain medical professionals, such as physicians and physician assistants. If you want to check on the license of another type of medical professional, you’ll need to contact the appropriate licensing board. For instance, licensed practical nurses and licensed registered nurses are regulated by state nursing boards.

You can also confirm that the doctor completed medical school and is board certified in a particular specialty. Ask where he graduated from medical school and contact the school to confirm that he graduated. Ask if he is board certified and contact the appropriate board to confirm that.

About the Author

Kelly Morris has been making a living as a writer since 2004. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph with a major in social work and minor in women's studies. Her work has appeared in a number of print publications including Caregivers Home Companion, Midwifery Today and Guide.

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