Top Doctors 2009 Methodology

For this year’s list of Top Doctors, New Jersey Monthly commissioned an independent survey by the Polling Institute at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. A total of 20,254 New Jersey-based doctors were invited to give their recommendations for this year’s list.

Here’s how the survey was conducted. On March 18, 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. Respondents could return the original paper questionnaire or complete the questionnaire online. Web survey participants were required to enter their name and license number to avoid duplication.
Overall, 1,879 mail and 1,878 web responses were received. A check for non-duplication prevented ballot stuffing. Photocopies, duplicate online entries, and surveys from ineligible participants were disqualified.

In the end, a total of 3,224 non-duplicated responses were validated for use in the survey (1,441 mail and 1,783 online) for a response rate of 16%. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points over the 2008 survey .

Once all the eligible votes were tallied, doctors with sufficient votes were placed on a preliminary list. A handful of doctors then were excluded because of prior disciplinary actions. The final list of 609 Top Doctors represents 60 medical specialties.

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