THE RESULTS OF Seattle Met’s annual Top Doctors survey are in: Nearly 1,200 physicians, nurses, and physician’s assistants in King, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties nominated colleagues they would choose to treat themselves and their loved ones. The 423 doctors who received the most votes have been listed here alphabetically by specialty and constitute 87 distinct specialties.

Practitioners of family medicine, geriatric medicine, general internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general pediatrics are in high demand as the first line of defense in patient health. So this year we placed greater emphasis on primary care providers, allowing survey participants to nominate up to four primary care doctors (as opposed to only one doctor in the other specialties). Each doctor surveyed was given the opportunity to list areas of focus within their field or exemplary cases they’d recently treated. A nephrologist, say, could list anemia, hypertension, and renal failure. (This in no way indicates that the doctor’s practice is limited to those subspecialties.) As of press time, all the doctors on our list had current credentials filed with the state’s medical licensing board.

Each year, we seek a diverse response for specialties under-represented in past surveys (such as acupuncture and naturopathy), geographic regions, and types of practice. Private practices, due to small staffs and the fact they encounter fewer colleagues on a day-to-day basis, are never adequately represented on lists like these; docs at big hospitals tend to get more votes. Though we’ve given close attention to creating a comprehensive list, this reference is best used as a first step in the careful journey toward finding doctors who are right for you.