Know the appropriate Websites to visit to determine physician licensure and education.
Understand the limitations of information about hospitals on the Web.
Understand the limitations of information about physicians on the Web.
Use the Web for access to databases of physician credentials and to find the Website for many hospitals worldwide.
Every doctor is listed on the Web.
If my doctor is not in Doctor Finder, then he is NOT a doctor.
If my doctor is not in PubMed, he is not a good doctor.
A Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) is NOT a real doctor.
Every hospital has a Website.
Every hospital Website has lots of good consumer health information.
As of 2004, there were 4,895 community hospitals in the United States.
As of 2000, there were 1,681 nursing homes in the United States
Source: AHA Hospital Statistics (2004 edition).
As of 2002, there were 853,187 physicians in the United States.
As of 2002, there were 597,908 board-certified physicians in the United States.
As of 2002, there were 210,355 international medical graduates practicing in the United States.
Source: Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the US (2004 edition)
Don't expect to find any information that really evaluates either doctors or hospitals. No one (Web or print) does this. The best you can hope for is enough information on a physician's education and practice specialty or a hospital's general evaluation to make your own decision.