2012 Top Doctors: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about how our annual Top Doctors list is compiled.

Q. How many votes does a doctor need to appear on the list?

A. It depends. Most categories have a standard threshold based on the overall number of doctors. The threshold is lowered for certain pediatric and surgical specialties, and in certain counties where the universe of practitioners is smaller.

Q. I notice some of the doctors advertise in this issue. Is that a factor in appearing on the list?

A. Absolutely not. Only after the list has been finalized are doctors notified. At that point they can choose to purchase advertising to promote the achievement. Many of these ads appear in the Special Advertising Section.

Q. I have a great doctor. Why isn’t he or she on the list?

A. We hear that a lot. However, we do not add doctors to the list based on reader suggestions. The list is based purely on the balloting by the doctors. Our advice: If you are happy with your personal docs, stay with them.

Q. Why are there so few doctors from some areas of the state?

A. In some of the less densely populated southern and western counties, there are fewer than 200 licensed doctors, so it is difficult for any of them to get a statistically significant number of votes. To compensate, we lower the threshold in some of these areas to allow more doctors onto the list. Even without this adjustment, the more populous southern counties, such as Camden and Burlington, are well represented on the list.

Q. Don’t the same docs make the list every year?

A. Many of the doctors repeat, as would be expected of the state’s finest physicians. To help you recognize these doctors, we’ve placed a red star next to the names of doctors who also appeared on last year’s list. However, this year’s list includes 332 doctors who were not on the list last year.  And this year, we’ve also added four new specialties to the list: adolescent medicine, hospice and palliative care medicine, sports medicine, and surgery of the hand.

Q. What if there is a disciplinary action against a doctor?

A. Any doctor who has a disciplinary action currently reported by the state medical examiner is excluded from the list.

Q. How do you guard against ballot stuffing?

A. Photocopies and duplicate ballots are ruled invalid to prevent ballot stuffing. Those who vote online must give their license number to prevent duplicate voting.

Q. How do doctors get their pictures on the cover?

A. The six doctors on this year’s cover were chosen by the editorial department from among those with the most votes in their specialties. As always, our cover photo includes doctors from throughout the state and represents the diversity of New Jersey’s top doctors.

Read more Top Doctors articles.

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