AfterShock: what to do when the doctor gives you -- or someone you love -- a devastating diagnosis, Jessie Gruman Ph.D.

AfterShock: Free App

APPENDIX D: Finding the Right Doctors and Hospitals

Appendix D offers information about how to find a good doctor or hospital including resources to evaluate credentials, ratings and safety.

A small sample of resources from the appendices in the 2010 edition of AfterShock were reviewed and updated in June 2014. No further updates are anticipated.

Sample Resources:

The National Library of Medicine Directories Page is a great resource for finding a doctor through his or her professional society.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) can tell you whether your doctor is board certified in any of 24 specialties, from allergies and immunology to urology.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a nonprofit organization that collects information on the quality of managed health care programs in the U.S. This website allows you to search by state to find doctors in your area that have been recognized as quality caregivers for particular conditions like stroke and diabetes. is site that relies on patient recommendations for doctor and dentist ratings.

HealthGrades is a for-profit health care quality ratings company, offering reports on over 750,000 individual doctors. Reports also contain a brief section on quality rankings of nearby hospitals and general questions to ask before choosing a doctor. Physician reports cost $12.95 and $9.95 for each additional report in one order. (303) 716-0041

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the nation's leading nonprofit accreditation group that encourages quality and safety standards among health care facilities and gives a seal of approval to those that meet its standards. Quality Check is JCAHO's online search service of accredited hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes and even outpatient care such as sleep clinics.