American Medical Association logo


This online physician Locator helps you find a perfect match for your medical needs DoctorFinder provides you with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States. This includes more than 814,000 doctors.

AMA member physicians are offered an expanded listing that contains additional information such as office hours, accepted insurance providers, educational history and other helpful information.

All AMA members must adhere to the AMA's Principles of Medical Ethics.

Physician Education

Medicine is a stimulating and demanding profession. It requires a dedication to lifelong learning that starts in college, medical school and residency training and continues throughout the physician’s career.

Each of the physicians listed in DoctorFinder is a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO) and is licensed to practice in one or more of the 54 US licensing jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

All physicians educated in the United States, including Puerto Rico and Canada, have completed approximately four years of education in a medical school or college of osteopathic medicine. After four years of medical school physicians earn the doctor of medicine (MD) degree.

Most individuals who attended medical school outside the United States are certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

After medical school, physicians undertake up to seven years of graduate medical education. The length of training varies depending on the specialty a physician pursues. Family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, and orthopedics are all examples of practice specialties. After completing residency training, physicians are eligible for medical specialty board certification.

Physicians continue to learn by participating in continuing education activities. The AMA's Physician’s Recognition Award is earned by physicians who have documented their participation in 50 or more hours of continuing medical education annually.

top of page

Physician Licensure

Physicians may hold one or more licenses to practice medicine in 54 US licensing jurisdictions.

Licenses are granted to ensure the public that the physician who presents himself/herself for licensure has successfully completed an appropriate sequence of medical education, including a specified amount of residency training in an accredited program, and has demonstrated competence through successful completion of an examination or other certification demonstrating qualification for licensure.

top of page

Medical Schools

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), an agency cosponsored by the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges, with participation from the Canadian Medical Association for schools in Canada, accredits educational programs in allopathic schools of medicine in the United States and Canada. Allopathic schools of medicine grant a doctor of medicine (MD) degree.

Before entering medical school, students complete approximately four years of preprofessional education in an accredited college or university. Students enrolled in LCME-accredited medical schools study the basic sciences (e.g., anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology) as well as the behavioral sciences and learn fundamental techniques of taking a medical history and examining patients. Later, students participate in clinical rotations in hospitals and clinics to observe and work with experienced physicians and begin to learn aspects of patient care.

Clinical rotations allow medical students to explore a wide variety of medical specialties (e.g., family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery). Students also explore various career paths, including direct patient care, medical administration, academic medicine, and research. Students undertake increasingly complex clinical rotation responsibilities while continuing to satisfy elective course requirements.

top of page

Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Bureau of Professional Education accredits 16 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States that grant a doctor of osteopathy or (DO) degree. Before entering an osteopathic college, students complete four years of preprofessional education in an accredited college or university. A doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree requires four academic years of study, two years devoted to didactic instruction in the biomedical sciences and clinical medicine and two years devoted to clinical work in community hospitals, major medical centers, and physician’s offices. Students rotate through urban and rural settings, experiencing all major areas of medicine.

Osteopathic principles and practices are integrated throughout the four-year curriculum. Students learn to use osteopathic techniques for diagnosis and treatment of disease, as well as for disease prevention. The curriculum emphasizes the relationship of body systems and holistic patient care.

top of page

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) serves the public interest by offering a program of evaluation, examination, and certification for physicians who were educated outside the United States and Canada. Physicians educated outside the United States and Canada, termed international medical graduates (IMGs), may be citizens of the United States or Canada who chose to be educated elsewhere or non-citizens who were admitted to the United States by US immigration authorities.

The ECFMG certificate is required before IMGs can enter ACGME-accredited training programs. ECFMG certification provides an assurance to residency programs and to the people of the United States that IMGs have met the minimum standards, including proficiency in English, required to enter such programs. All IMGs must undertake residency training in the United States before they can obtain a license to practice medicine in the United States even if they were fully trained, licensed, and practicing in another country.

top of page

Graduate Medical Education

After completing medical school, physicians undertake up to seven years of graduate medical education (residency training) in a specific medical specialty. Training occurs in accredited hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities where resident physicians work under the supervision of physicians who are recognized as experts in their chosen specialty or subspecialty.

Most residency training occurs in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). More than 7,000 ACGME-accredited programs offer training in about 90 specialties and subspecialties.

top of page

Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education

After graduation from a college of osteopathic medicine, an osteopathic physician normally completes a one-year rotating internship followed by a three to five year residency. Under selected circumstances, the internship year may be part of the osteopathic residency curriculum. There are currently 170 osteopathic internship programs and 543 osteopathic residency programs accredited by the American Osteopathic Association Council on Postdoctoral Training. Osteopathic graduate medical education at the residency level includes 49 specialties and subspecialties.

top of page

Medical Specialty Board Certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) sanctions 24 medical specialties, many of which have subspecialties. Member boards of the ABMS evaluate physicians by examination and certify as diplomats those candidates who are qualified. Medical specialty boards determine whether candidates have received adequate preparation in accordance with established educational standards, provide comprehensive examinations designed to assess knowledge, skills, and experience requisite to the provision of high quality patient care in that specialty, and certify those candidates who have satisfied the requirements. Many boards require recertification at periodic intervals.

top of page

Osteopathic Specialty Board Certification

Osteopathic specialty board certification is awarded by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists. Osteopathic physicians are eligible for certification by one of 18 AOA specialty certifying boards after completing an osteopathic residency program and satisfying requirements defined by an osteopathic specialty. Some boards offer certification in subspecialties or certificates of added qualifications.

top of page

Physician Practice Specialty

Physicians’ report their primary and secondary practice specialty via AMA surveys, the AMA Online Data Collection Center, and other data collection vehicles. Although studies conducted by the US Health and Human Services Bureau of Health professions show that most practice specialties are consistent with physicians’ graduate medical training and or board certification, a practice specialty does not warranty special skill to practice in that specialty. The DoctorFinder search by practice specialty option is based on medical specialty information provided by each physician.

top of page

AMA Physician’s Recognition Award

The AMA Physician’s Recognition Award recognizes those physicians who annually complete and document 50 or more hours of formal and personal continuing education activities. Physicians can apply for the award at the PRA Web Site.