How We Conducted our 2015 Top Doctors Survey

By Seattle magazine staff July 13, 2015

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Seattle magazine.

Our 15th annual Top Doctors list is the result of more than nearly 15,000 nominations gathered through our comprehensive, controlled, peer-to-peer survey process.

Data collection and evaluation was managed by Bellevue-based GMA Research, working in partnership with Seattle-based CHCS Internet Development and Seattle magazine. With more than 30 years of experience, GMA ( uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide research design, data collection, computer tabulation, analysis and reporting to clients, including many hospitals, medical centers and research facilities. Developing websites since 1994, CHCS ( works with a wide range of businesses and nonprofit organizations, including medical centers, health care organizations and biotech companies.

Our online survey was open to all licensed physicians in the region, from January 12 to February 2, 2015. This includes: medical doctors (M.D.), osteopaths (D.O.), naturopaths (N.D.), oriental medicine doctors (OMD), acupuncturists (LAc), podiatrists (DPM), optometrists (O.D.) and chiropractors (D.C.). The survey asked physicians to name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones in 75 specialty areas, regardless of hospital, clinic or health plan affiliation. Several factors determined who appears on this list, including the number of nominations received by each physician, the area of specialty, the number of practitioners in the specialty, and vote and geographic distribution within each specialty of those nominated.

We made our best effort to contact all providers on the list. They were asked to supply information regarding their education, where they practice, additional specialties and hospital affiliations. In some cases, the information was supplied by hospitals or clinics.

We also checked with the Washington State Department of Health to make sure all the professionals listed were in good standing as we went to print (go to and click on “Provider Credential Search”). The doctors on this list have been nominated by their peers; Seattle magazine is not endorsing these doctors. Be sure to exercise due diligence in selecting a doctor: Visit Washington’s Department of Health ( for the most up-to-date information, including a health care provider’s license status and any restrictions or disciplinary actions. Please note: DOH records do not include malpractice settlements or criminal convictions, unless they resulted in an action. Another good place to learn about practitioners is through Healthgrades (

While our list is comprehensive, it is not exhaustive. There are many well-qualified providers who are not included. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected for and/or profiled in Seattle magazine’s Top Doctors.

Our Top Doctors Advisory Panel
Seattle magazine thanks the members of its Top Doctors advisory panel who agreed to share their insights and advice on medical trends and issues as we compiled this year’s Top Doctors issue. Panel members do not review or influence the choice of doctors on the final list, and so they are eligible to be included on the list. Our advisory members are:

Dr. Kim Abson, The Polyclinic
Dr. William P. Barrett, Valley Orthopedic Associates
Dr. Rocco Ciocca, Swedish Medical Center
Dr. Richard Clarfeld, Overlake Hospital Medical Center
Dr. Mark Del Beccaro, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Dr. William DePaso, Virginia Mason Medical Center
Dr. Marc Mora, Group Health Cooperative
Dr. Gregory Schroedl, UW Medicine/Northwest Hospital & Medical Center
Dr. Marc Stewart, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance


Follow Us