Finding a family physician or a specialist can be quite a challenge! Getting recommendations from friends and family is a great starting point but it's worth getting to know credible resources to help you narrow your choices. Publishers such as U.S. News & World Report create annual ratings of hospitals and healthcare facilities while a few local publishers pull together lists of top doctors. These are all great starting points but dig a little deeper to see what is behind the lists.

Library and Online Resources

Reference USA:

This online phone directory has a special healthcare directory with detailed listings of nearly 675,000 doctors and 180,000 dentists. Focus your search by name, specialty, geographic limits (zip code, city, ) medical school attended. Reference USA also makes it possible to search by practice type, state of license, board certification and statistics such as prescriptions and patients per week.

DoctorFinder (American Medical Association)

If you are interested in finding physicians who are members of the American Medical Association, this is your source. The online directory lists all licensed physicians in the US and indicates whether they are current members of this prestigious association. This resource does not include dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, nurses, or allied health personnel.

American Board of Medical Specialties

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees 24 approved medical specialty. Use their site to check whether your doctor  is certified. Why is this important? The ABMS routinely checks to see whether physicians meet nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills.