The Internet is a great place to start to become an empowered patient. You can start your search for Dr. Right, find medical research, shop for health insurance, and check out hospitals online. Here are some of the useful websites in my book.

 

HOW TO FIND DR. RIGHT

  • To find out if there have been any disciplinary actions against a doctor, go to the federation of State Medical Boards.

  • To find out if your doctor is certified to practice in his or her specialty, visit the American Board of Medical Specialities. You'll have to create a login and a password, but it's quick, easy, and free.

  • To find out if your doctor has been convicted of patient abuse or fraud, go to the federal government's Office of the Inspector General.

 

HOW TO BE AN INTERNET MD

I'm a huge fan of Google. I use it all the time. I bet I'm one of their best customers. But Google also turns up a lot of faulty information. Try using these search engines, which screen out the junk.

  • Dirline

  • MedlinePlus

  • Pubmed

  •  

The Patient's Playbook: How to Save Your Life and the Lives of Those You Love Hardcover – September 1, 2015

by Leslie D. Michelson (Author)

 

HOW TO SHOP FOR HEALTH INSURANCE

Shopping for health insurance can be bewildering. Health care reform will hopefully change that, but in the meantime, here are some useful sites.

  • Go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and click on your state to make sure the insurance company you're considering is licensed in your state and isn't a scam.

  • Go to a health insurance report card put out by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and US News and World Report.

  • To get other people's opinions about different policies, read these ratings from Consumer Reports based on surveys of more than 37,000 readers.