What’s all this about Golden Stethoscopes?

Two thousand eight marks the first year that we will honor the doctors on our list with a Seattle Metropolitan Golden Stethoscope Award. It’s our way of acknowledging their importance to the community and congratulating them on their nomination to the list.

What makes Seattle Met qualified to pick our city’s Top Docs?

We’re not. That’s why we sent out survey invitations to over 10,000 medical professionals in King, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties, asking them to take our online survey and vote for their choices. Over 1,200 Washington physicians, nurses, and physician’s assistants logged on and nominated colleagues practicing throughout the region—from Seattle to Everett to Renton, and many parts in between. The 333 doctors who received the most votes have been listed here alphabetically, and constitute 85 distinct specialties.

I wrote to you last year suggesting you add alternative practitioners 
to the list. Did you listen?

We sure did, and we went straight to the source, asking members of the alternative and complimentary medicine community to vote for their top choices.

How is this year’s list different from previous ones?

We assembled a panel (thanks again, guys!) of private-practice doctors, hospital directors, chief surgeons, and medical officers from places like Swedish, Virginia Mason, Children’s, Group Health, and the University of Washington. Our experts shared their thoughts on past doctors lists, weighing in on what they liked and prescribing changes for what they didn’t.

In response to their recommendations, we added specialties we’d previously missed (such as surgical otolaryngology and genetics medicine), tweaked our survey to include more private practices and, for the first time, asked alternative and 
complimentary medicine providers to 
nominate their peers.

For ease of navigation, these specialties have been grouped into seven categories: General Medicine, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery, and Alternative Medicine. Doctors who are not currently accepting patients are indicated with an asterisk. As of press time, all the doctors on our list were in good standing with the state’s medical licensing board.

How come my private-practice doctor, that lifesaving genius, didn’t make the list?

Due to their small staffs and the fact they encounter fewer colleagues on a day-to-day basis, it’s nearly impossible to adequately represent the private-practice community on lists like these. We did what we could: Two dedicated interns even spent a week calling hundreds of practices, asking them to take our survey. The fact remains, however, that docs at big hospitals tend to get more votes.

My doc said the list was “all politics” and “a popularity contest.” Is that true?

We ask medical professionals to nominate docs who they would choose to treat themselves and their loved ones. The extent to which they respond honestly is up to them, but we like to think they take our survey seriously. Yes, well-established physicians show up again and again on these lists. Why? Because they’re well-established. At the same time, plenty of new names appear every year, too.

How should I use this list?

We hope that you’ll use it as a first step in the careful journey toward finding the right doctor for you. We’ve created a comprehensive and detailed list, but prospective patients should view it as a point of departure only.