How We Conducted Our Top Doctors Survey

By Seattle Mag

December 15, 2010

For the first time, Seattle magazine’s Top Doctors list results from a collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a highly regarded health care research and information company that works with magazines across the country to produce similar top doctors features. Castle Connolly also is the publisher of several resource books on physicians, including America’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Doctors for Cancer.

In conducting research for the Top Doctors feature, Castle Connolly invited all licensed physicians in King County and portions of Snohomish, Kitsap and Pierce counties to nominate their peers through a special website. With the support of the marketing staffs at hospitals in the Seattle area, the response was overwhelming: Participants submitted 11,230 nominations for more than 3,500 distinct physicians. This enabled Castle Connolly to enhance its existing processes and arrive at the list of top doctors for this feature.

Several factors determine which names appear on the list, including the number of nominations a physician receives, the area of specialty, the number of practitioners in the specialty and geographic distribution. In addition to Castle Connolly’s review of state licensure, Seattle magazine verified at press time that all physicians listed are in good standing with the Washington Department of Health. (To verify any provider on the list, go to and click on “Provider Credential Search.”)  While our list is comprehensive, it is not exhaustive. Many well-qualified providers are not included, but we are confident that those listed are among the best in their areas of specialty.

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. was founded in 1991 by John Castle, former chairman of the board of the New York Medical College, and John Connolly, Ed.D., former president of the New York Medical College. Its aim is to help guide consumers to America’s top doctors and hospitals. Nationally, Castle Connolly’s survey and research processes involve tens of thousands of top doctors and the medical leadership of leading hospitals.

Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels. Using mail and telephone surveys and electronic ballots, they ask physicians and the medical leadership of leading hospitals to identify highly skilled, exceptional doctors. Careful screening of doctors’ educational and professional experience is essential before final selection is made among those physicians most highly regarded by their peers. The result: Castle Connolly identifies the top doctors in America and provides consumers with detailed information about their education, training and special expertise in its paperback guides, online directories, and national and regional magazine “Top Doctors” features.

Physicians selected for inclusion in Seattle magazine’s Top Doctors list may also appear as Regional Top Doctors at, or in one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors guides, such as America’s Top Doctors or America’s Top Doctors for Cancer.

Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled as Castle Connolly or Seattle magazine Top Doctors.


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