Find a Doctor, Dentist or Medical Facility

thumb_question.JPGDo you need to find a new general practitioner (GP) or specialist? Have you been given a choice of medical facilities where a procedure or surgery can occur? Do you need help making an informed decision? Using the tips and resources on this guide, locate credible information on health care providers and health care facilities. Be proactive and make the best decision for YOU! There are both qualitative and quantitative factors that go into selecting healthcare providers and facilities.

Ask yourself...

Do you spend more time researching a "big ticket" purchase (car, vacation package, household appliance) than you do a health care provider or medical facility?

Can you answer these questions...

When you receive a referral to a medical facility or health care provider, what major factors contribute to the referral? Are your best interests the top priority, or is a referral based on factors that have nothing to do with you or your needs?

Before making your decision, did you consider*...
  • Insurance
  • Location
  • Accessibility (physical access, hours of operation, scheduling, after-hours support)
  • Communication style (of individuals, "office" and/or facility)
  • Health care provider or facility accreditation
  • Health care provider or facility affiliations
  • Experience (service, disease/condition, surgery)
  • History (quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Whether religion, gender or specialization matters
  • Whether or not the provider is familiar with alternative treatment methods and open to using them
  • Specific patient preferences & needs
    • "My son is only 6, does it matter if his health care provider is experienced with kids or has a pediatric specialty?"

*Considerations are in no particular order*

Making the "right choice" requires collaboration and communication between health care providers and patients

Recommended Reading

How to Find the Right Doctor from US News & World Report's Health & Wellness Section

Choosing a Doctor or Health Care Service topic page from MedlinePlus

Why being able to talk to your doctor matters
from the National Institute on Aging

Health Facilities topic page from MedlinePlus

How to Choose the Best Hospital for Surgery from the MedlinePlus Encyclopedia

Find a Doctor

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is an organization of 24 approved medical specialty boards. The intent of the certification of physicians is to provide assurance to the public that those certified by an ABMS Member Board have successfully completed an approved training program and an evaluation process assessing their ability to provide quality patient care in the specialty. Free registration required to receive search results

AMA Physician Select: Online Doctor Finder
The American Medical Association Physician Select database provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and its possessions, including more than 690,000 doctors of medicine (MD) and doctors of osteopathy or osteopathic medicine (DO)

Chicago's "Top Doctors"

Chicago magazine's biennial list of outstanding metro-area doctors is published in the January edition. The latest ranking, from 2016, includes 354 Doctors in 57 specialties (including sub-specialties). The online list can be searched by specialty or Doctor's name. Click here for the online edition or visit the COD Library to view the print edition.

MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine Directories
Arranges directory links into categories including physicians, specialists, hospitals, services, and facilities

Physician Profile Search: Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Search by Physician name to access information profiles on all physicians currently licensed in the State of Illinois. Includes license information, disciplinary and legal actions, primary office locations, hospital affiliations, board certifications, medical school and post graduate education and more

WebMD Physician Directory
Search for a physician by name, medical specialty, distance from your home, HMO plan, hospital affiliation, or other criteria

Find a Dentist

Chicagoland Dental Profiles

Nominations from more than 1,300 Chicago-area dentists contributed to the 2016 Chicagoland Dental Profiles. Here is the list of the 270 chosen dentists in eight specialties. Click here for the online edition or visit the COD Library to view the print edition.

Find an Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Dentist
Use their online search tool to get references for general dentists within a specific geographic area. Or call the AGD’s consumer referral line, 1.877.2X.A.YEAR, to connect with three AGD member dentists. Provides tips and suggestions on how to select a Dentist.

Mouth Healthy
From the ADA (American Dental Association), use the simple or advanced search options to find a member Dentist near you

How to Choose a Dentist (in 4 easy steps)
From the American Dental Association

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Use their search tool to find a pediatric dentist near you

Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation Licenses Dental Professionals
Check a Dentist or Dental Hygienists Licensure

Find a Health Care Facility

America's Best Hospitals
U.S. News and World Report ranks the top medical centers

Hospital Compare: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Find out how well hospitals across the U.S. compare in the care of adult patients with certain medical conditions. It includes a hospital checklist for consumers.

Locate a Hospice
From the Hospice Foundation of America

Illinois Hospital Association
The IHA's consumer information section includes links to: find a hospital (alphabetically or by city), advance directives, the Illinois Poison Center, Illinois KidCare, and organ donation updates and links

Illinois Hospital Report Card
Access information about the volume, cost and quality of health care provided in Illinois medical facilities

MEDLINEplus National Library of Medicine Directories
Arranges directory links into categories including physicians, specialists, hospitals, services, and facilities

Find Complimentary, Alternative, or Integrative Providers

Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?
This fact sheet explains the difference between the terms and the role that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) plays in investigating (researching) the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.

MedlinePlus Health Topic: Complementary and Integrative Medicine

American Association of Integrative Medicine: Find a Provider
Search by specialty and State

American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine: Find a Physician
Search by State, zipcode, and/or specialty

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Search via the "Find a Practitioner" and "Registry" options