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 25,624 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 18, 2019, 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 original paper questionnaire or complete the questionnaire online. Web survey participants were required to enter their license numbers to avoid duplicate voting.
Overall, 609 mail and 3,717 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, 3,482 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 1,085 Top Doctors was determined, representing 75 medical specialties.