Jersey Choice Top Doctors: Methodology, FAQ & Professional Advisory Board

Here's how the doctors are chosen for our annual list.

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METHODOLOGY

For this year’s list of Top Doctors, New Jersey Monthly commissioned an independent survey by Leflein Associates, a locally owned research firm in Ringwood. A total of 26,116 New Jersey–based doctors were invited to recommend the physicians they would choose to treat their own family members.

Here’s how the survey was conducted: On January 15, 2021, a questionnaire was mailed to all New Jersey–based physicians who have been licensed by the state for at least five years. The mailing list, which is used by the state Board of Medical Examiners for licensing purposes, was obtained from the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs. Doctors for whom we have verified e-mail addresses received e-mail notification of the survey as well. Respondents could return the paper questionnaire or complete the questionnaire online. Web-survey participants were required to enter their license numbers to avoid duplicate voting.

Overall, 405 mail and 4,019 web responses were received. A check for non-duplication and invalid or duplicate license numbers prevented ballot stuffing. Photocopies, duplicate online entries, and surveys from ineligible participants were disqualified.

In the end, 3,582 non-duplicated responses were validated for use in the survey. Once all the eligible votes were tallied, doctors with sufficient votes were placed on a preliminary list. Any doctor who has been disciplined for a serious infraction by the state medical examiner was excluded from the list. Next, the preliminary list was submitted for professional review to a panel of 26 doctors. The doctors on the panel were chosen from among top vote getters in last year’s survey. In the review process, the final list of 1,142 Top Doctors was determined, representing 73 medical specialties.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What will I find online?
The 2021 list of Jersey Choice Top Doctors is available 24/7. Access is free. You can search the list by last name, specialty or location. In some cases, the doctors have chosen to enhance their listings with additional information, including board certification, license issue date, a biography and office addresses. There’s even a street map and a link to driving directions.

Is there any professional oversight of the process?
Each year, we assemble a professional advisory board of previously awarded Top Doctors to review the list (see section below). The board members can suggest changes to the list.

How many votes does a doctor need to appear on the list?
It depends. Most categories have a standard threshold based on the overall number of doctors. We lower the threshold for certain pediatric and surgical specialties and in counties where the number of practitioners is smaller.

Are doctors included in the list because they buy ads in this issue?
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 the ads appear in the Special Advertising Section included in the print issue.

I have a great doctor. Why isn’t he or she on the list?
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 doctors, stay with them.

Why are there so few doctors from some areas of the state?
It’s hard to get a statistically significant number of votes for doctors in the state’s thinly populated southern and western counties, including Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Cape May, Warren and Sussex counties. To compensate, we lower the thresholds in these areas to allow more doctors onto the list. 

PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

These 26 doctors comprise the professional advisory board for the 2021 Jersey Choice Top Doctors survey. The board members reviewed the preliminary results of the survey by New Jersey Monthly and were asked to submit names for possible addition or deletion. Doctors chosen for the board received consistently high levels of votes in their respective specialties in previous surveys.

Dr. John Checton
Cardiovascular disease, Eatontown

Dr. Didier Demesmin
Anesthesiology & pain management, Somerset 

Dr. Adam Elfant
Gastroenterology, Mount Laurel

Dr. Andrey Espinoza
Interventional cardiology, Flemington

Dr. Frank J. Ferraro
Plastic & reconstructive surgery, Paramus

Dr. Margaret C. Fisher
Pediatric infectious diseases, Long Branch 

Dr. Joshua M. Fiske
Urology, Cranford, West Orange, Westfield

Dr. Charles J. Gatt Jr.
Orthopedic surgery, Somerset, Princeton

Dr. Warren R. Heymann
Dermatology, Marlton

Dr. Matthew D. Iammatteo
Obstetrics & gynecology, Morristown

Dr. Carol Kornmehl
Radiation oncology, Cherry Hill

Dr. Cathleen J. Mullarky-DeSapio
Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism, Princeton

Dr. Massimo Napolitano
Vascular surgery, Hackensack

Dr. Marie E. Nevin
Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism, Morristown

Dr. Michael J. Nissenblatt
Oncology & hematology, East Brunswick

Dr. Giovanni B. Ramundo
Anesthesiology & pain management, Brielle, Edgewater 

Dr. Maithili V. Rao
Oncology & hematology, Springfield

Dr. Steven Richards
Urology, Monroe

Dr. Mark A. Rieger
Pediatric orthopedics, Cedar Knolls, Springfield, Wayne

Dr. Gary R. Rombough
Orthopedic surgery, Montclair

Dr. Elliot Rosenstein
Rheumatology, Summit

Dr. Frederic J. Scoopo
Pulmonary disease, Cedar Knolls

Dr. Ellen R. Sher
Allergy & immunology, Ocean, Middletown

Dr. Christopher J. Spagnuola
Orthopedic surgery,Ocean, Brick, Freehold

Dr. Mark D. Widmann
Thoracic & cardiac surgery, Morristown

Dr. Lori Feldman Winter
Adolescent medicine, Voorhees, Camden

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