Established by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1906, the AMA Physician Masterfile was initially developed as a record keeping device supporting membership and mailing activities. Since then, the AMA Physician Masterfile has expanded to include significant education, training and professional certification information on virtually all Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) in the United States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and certain Pacific Islands.
Current and historical records for physicians
The AMA Physician Masterfile includes current and historical data for more than 1.4 million physicians, residents and medical students in the United States. This figure includes approximately 449,000 graduates of foreign medical schools who reside in the United States and who have met the educational and credentialing requirements necessary for recognition.
A record is established when individuals enter medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), or in the case of international medical graduates (IMGs), upon entry into a post-graduate residency training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). IMG's are also identified when they obtain a license from 1 of the 68 US licensing jurisdictions. As a physician's training and career develop, additional professional certification information is added to their AMA Physician Masterfile record.
AMA Physician Masterfile records are never removed even in the case of a physician's death. The AMA maintains information on more than 226,000 deceased physicians. These data are shared with other organizations and agencies who credential physicians and are used to identify individuals who attempt to fraudulently assume the credentials of deceased physicians.
Use of physician data
The AMA Division of Health Solutions Data Management (HSDM) is dedicated to effectively and accurately collecting, analyzing and managing data within the AMA Physician Masterfile which serves as a primary resource for professional medical organizations, universities and medical schools, research institutions, governmental agencies and other health-related groups. Use of the AMA Physician Masterfile by agencies and organizations concerned with verifying physicians' credentials and health manpower planning is fundamental to the AMA's mission to strengthen the medical profession and ensure quality health care for the American public.
The AMA seeks to achieve a high degree of accuracy in the organization and publication of physician data. Physicians' records are subject to change and are continuously updated through the extensive data collection and verification efforts performed within HSDM.
Updates to the AMA Physician Masterfile should be submitted electronically through the AMA Online Data Collection Center. Updates can also be mailed or faxed to the AMA.
American Medical Association
Division of Health Solutions Data Management
Attn: Data Verification Unit
330 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 39300
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 464-4880 (Fax)
Please note that AMA requires verification from the primary source before applying changes to medical education, residency training or other professional certification data.
Physicians and medical students have the option to restrict unwanted correspondence, opt out of having their information routinely licensed and/or restrict access to their prescribing data.