Every year Delaware Today publishes a new list of top doctors, and every year people want to know this: how we choose them. Here goes:
In June, we mailed surveys to every member of the Medical Society of Delaware. (The Division of Public Regulation, which licenses physicians in Delaware, will not release its list of doctors.) The survey was also mailed to other doctors who became aware of our research and personally asked for them. The survey asked who they would recommend to a loved one in various areas of specialty.
Respondents have about three weeks to return the surveys. Only original prints are accepted, and only one reply per doctor to prevent ballot stuffing. Doctors must provide contact information so we can verify their responses, but we keep that information confidential.
Physicians who make the list receive the most nominations from their peers. The results can be found in this month’s Top Doctors story, which starts on page 68. The doctors we write profiles about were chosen from among the very top vote getters in their specialties.
Our method is much the same as that used by national referral groups, including several Internet-based services, many of whom make their information available to other magazines. And though you can trust the professionals listed by those services, we do it our way because outside parties often fail to identify many of the fine physicians who practice outside densely populated areas such as New Castle County, especially those who practice outside the clusters of medical offices around major hospitals.
We can say unequivocally—again—that we have never written about a doctor who was not highly esteemed by his or her peers, so you can be confident in the skills of the professionals profiled here. That said, we are always looking for ways to improve, so I welcome all suggestions. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.