FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHO PICKS THE DOCTORS ON THE LIST?

The local medical community does. This year, we combined forces with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, an independent medical researcher, to survey a total of 5,501 licensed doctors in the tricounty area and southwestern Washington, inviting them each to nominate up to 25 outstanding doctors in the region in 59 specialties. These results were combined with Castle Connolly’s extensive nationwide survey. Quite simply, those with the most nominations won.

HOW DID YOU ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF THE LIST?

Before the results were tallied, Castle Connolly’s physician-led research team individually verified that doctors did not vote for themselves, checked the credentials of each participant and nominee, and made sure that all medical licenses were active and in good standing with the appropriate state medical board (at press time). Finally, Portland Monthly’s research department independently double-checked the final list with the doctors and hospitals themselves.

WHY DOESN’T YOUR LIST INCLUDE DOCTORS OF PODIATRY OR ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE?

For the sake of standardization, we defined “doctor” as a licensed medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). However, we know that acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and other doctors are vital to many Portlanders’ health. And, in fact, some doctors on the list may subspecialize in alternative practices.

I AM A DOCTOR AND MY SPECIALTY DOESN’T APPEAR ON YOUR LIST. WHY NOT?

Certain specialties, like emergency medicine and trauma surgery, were omitted because patients do not typically choose their own doctors in those fields. Further, some were excluded because of a low sample size. The specialties that do appear on the list have been certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties and are the ones most commonly used by patients.

CAN DOCTORS PAY TO BE ON THE LIST?

Absolutely not. Our top doctors are chosen based on the number of nominations they receive from the physicians who participated in the survey.

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED THAT SOME DOCTORS ARE JUST VOTING FOR THEIR FRIENDS?

While some bias is inevitable, we received more than 1,800 unique nominations—an exceptionally large response that helps mitigate the “buddy effect.” And, of course, we encourage all participants to give their nominations thoughtful consideration.

IF MY DOCTOR ISN’T ON THE LIST, SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

Not at all. Many good doctors don’t appear on the list. Doctors working in large hospitals, department heads, and physicians who have been practicing a long time may simply be better known than doctors in a small or private practice.