Resources for Patients

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Look Up a Medical License

Medical licenses for physicians (MDs, DOs) and other health professionals are issued and regulated by the state of Michigan. Find information about verifying licensure, disciplinary actions, and filing a complaint against a licensed health professional.

Difference Between Physicians & Other Health Professionals

The MSMS-MOA Scope of Practice Guidebook clarifies the legal parameters, or “scope,” that Michigan physicians and other health professionals can practice within. It also clearly articulates the differences in education and training between physicians (MD, DO) and other health professionals.

Health Insurance - Consumer Assistance

The Michigan Department of Insurance & Financial Services (DIFS) regulates all licensed insurance and financial entities in Michigan, and offers assistance to consumers.

Medicaid Consumer Information

Medicare Consumer Information's Guide to Student Health Insurance

Public Health Information - State

The Michigan Dept. of Community Health (MDCH) offers information about immunizations, healthy mothers and babies, mental health services, public health outbreaks, emergency preparedness, and more.

Find Your Local Health Department

Making Decisions about Your Medical Treatment

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), part of the US Dept. of Health & Human Services, helps people make more informed decisions about their health care through resources such as news articles, checklists, audio podcasts, videos, and more.

Health Facilities Information

The Michigan Dept. of Licensing & Regulatory (LARA) offers information about the licensing and regulation of health facilities (hospitals, clinics, medical practices, long-term care facilities, labs, etc.).

What It Takes to Become a Physician: Your Physician is Your Best Advocate in Today's Health Care System

Physicians are individuals who have earned a degree and fulfilled other requirements to practice medicine as an allopathic physician (MD) or an osteopathic physician (DO). 

Because there are so many types of care offered nowadays by people who have had training that permits them to be called “doctor,” it is important for patients to understand the qualifications of physicians – that is, MDs and DOs. 

What Does It Take to Become a Physician? 

Becoming a physician takes at least 11 years of schooling, and sometimes 13 years or more. To be a licensed MD or DO, one must do the following:  

  • Graduate with a BA or BS degree from an accredited four-year college.
  • Graduate from an accredited medical college, generally a four-year program.
  • Serve one year of internship, plus two or four years as a “Resident” on a hospital staff, where medical teaching programs are offered – at this point, the young physician studies one of many medical specialties, like obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, general surgery, and so on.
  • Take additional courses in the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system (osteopathic physicians).
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive examination for licensure by the State Board of Medical Examiners.
  • Maintain ethical standards of the profession, and commit to continuing medical education throughout his or her career.

The Michigan State Medical Society encourages all Michigan residents to educate themselves regarding the health care they are receiving. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your physician.

Get the Facts about Childhood Immunizations

Talk to your health care provider and get the facts. Physicians, nurses, and educators agree -- Keep your family healthy. Get your children immunized!

End-of-Life Care Guide

This booklet was created to help physicians, patients and families -- family in the broadest sense -- deal more effectively with dying and death.