Many websites claim their top doctor lists are legitimate but a number of them place doctors on their lists for a fee, not for their qualifications.  We have reviewed a number of websites that offer top doctor lists and found only a select few were truly trustworthy. All of these base their selection process on the foundation of peer nominations.  This concept is to have physicians nominate other doctors who they feel are the most outstanding in their medical specialty, in any area of medicine and in any part of the country.  They cannot nominate themselves.  After nominations are collected, the doctor’s medical education, training, board certifications, hospital appointments, administrative posts, professional achievements and malpractice and disciplinary history are reviewed before they can qualify to be a top doctor.  There is no perfect system, but we feel this is the most effective way to identify top doctors across the country.  It is certainly valuable to know the doctors that other doctors use for themselves and their families. 


The Best Docs™ uses some of the following sources to identify top doctors: 


The mission of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is to help consumers find the best healthcare. The company was founded by two respected leaders in healthcare, John K. Castle and John J. Connolly, Ed.D. The top doctors who are listed in their books and on their website directory are nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of American doctors each year. These top doctors' medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories - and much more - are screened by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team. Those doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory.


Key Professional Media performs the polling, research and selection for Super Doctors in a process designed to identify medical professionals who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Doctors is a selective yet diverse listing of outstanding doctors, representing consumer-oriented medical specialties.


The primary mission of Trusted LASIK Surgeons (TLS) is to assist the consumer in finding LASIK and refractive surgeons who are the best and most trusted in the United States. They also provide an invaluable resource of LASIK and refractive procedures for consumers. TLS estimates that many, if not most of the LASIK eye surgeons in their LASIK Directory have professional credentials that place them within an elite circle comprising the top 1% of LASIK and refractive surgeons in the United States. Of the other refractive surgeons listed in the Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory, most have professional credentials that they estimate 5% of all refractive surgeons in the United States would have and the remaining few would be among the top 10%.


Consumers’ Checkbook is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization founded in 1974 with the help of funding from the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs. To find out who the top doctors are around the country, nonprofit Consumers' Checkbook surveyed roughly 375,000 Physicians to tell them which specialists they would want to care for a loved one. The top doctor’s database contains the names of over 24,000 doctors who were mentioned most often in over 35 specialties.


Many city and regional magazines publish an annual top doctors issue. They either contract with a top doctor source – like Castle Connolly – to provide the list of top doctors in their city for the issue or they conduct a peer-nominating survey of doctors themselves. The Best Docs™ conducts a review of each magazine’s process to ensure it meets the high standards we require for any of their doctors to be included in our programs.