Frequently Asked Questions about Portland Monthly’s Top Doctors List


How do you pick the Top Docs?
We purchased a list of nearly seven thousand physicians and nurses practicing in the tri-county area or southern Washington and invited them to participate in our online survey. We then posed a simple question to each of them: “Which doctor would you choose if you or a loved one were in need of medical care?” Doctors and nurses who participated could nominate up to two doctors in as many as sixty-seven specialties. Next, we made our selections based on the doctors who were nominated the greatest number of times in each specialty. Doctors could not vote for themselves or vote more than once. All votes were confidential.

Doesn’t that make it just a popularity contest?
Well, in a sense, yes, but no more so than asking a doctor for a referral. While we hope that doctors give thoughtful consideration to the survey, we cannot guarantee that they are not nominating their friends or that their recommendations haven’t been swayed by politics. Portland Monthly is steadily working to improve the process. By encouraging more doctors to vote each year and by inviting nurses to participate for the first time, we are aiming to eliminate bias in the system. The more doctors and nurses from the local medical community that get involved, the more even the playing field will be.

If my doctor isn’t on the list, does that mean she isn’t a good doctor?
No. Because doctors on our list are nominated by their peers, well-known doctors with a longer presence in the medical community often will receive more recognition in this type of survey. The 220 names that appear in the following pages are just some—but certainly not all—of the area’s good doctors.

Is it true that only doctors who advertise with Portland Monthly make it onto the list?
Absolutely not. Portland Monthly, unlike some publications, does not exchange content for advertising. Doctors are chosen based strictly on the number of votes each receives.

How do you decide which specialties to include?
To arrive at our list, we cross-referenced the certified specialties published by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) with the Oregon Medical Board’s list of active physicians by reported specialty. We also included several popular subspecialties from previous Top Doctors issues.

I am a practicing physician. Why isn’t my specialty on the list?
While we do our best to make our list of specialties as comprehensive as possible, because of space constraints we cannot include every existing specialty and subspecialty. In addition, we did not include specialties that didn’t receive enough votes to derive a statistically significant sample.

Why aren’t categories like podiatry or chiropractic included?
Although these specialties, as well as many forms of alternative medicine, are legitimate and widely used, we limited our listing to include only medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine.

Does Portland Monthly check all the doctors on the list?
Yes. We independently verify every doctor’s name, phone number, specialty, office address, and hospital affiliation. Additionally, Portland Monthly’s research department checks that each doctor’s license is active and in good standing with the Oregon Medical Board.

Don’t see your doctor?
Participate in our Best Bedside Manner reader survey, and put in a vote for the doctors and nurses who provide your health care.