To find a board-certified doctor, narrow down the choices listed by an applicable health insurance network or in a local physician directory, and check for each potential doctor's board certification on either Abpsus.org or Certificationmatters.org. Osteopathic doctors, who hold Doctor of Osteopathy degrees instead of a Medical Doctorates, are often listed on the website Osteopathic.org. A doctor might also list board affiliations on her website or hang framed certifications in the office or clinic.
Doctors can be certified by any one of 24 different specialty medical boards. Before being certified, the physician must obtain a medical degree, complete a minimum of three years in an accredited medical residency program and pass a written exam. Some certification boards also require that candidates pass an oral exam. Certification lasts for six to 10 years, depending on the specific board. After certification expires, the doctor can apply to get recertified. Approximately 90 percent of U.S. doctors are board-certified as of 2015.
In addition to board certification, other things to consider when choosing a doctor include hospital affiliations, office location, staff friendliness and personality. States also license doctors. The specific requirements for getting a license to practice medicine vary from state to state, so state licensing does not carry over from one state to another.