Top Doctors - FAQ

Everything you ever wanted to know about Charlotte magazine’s Top Doctors list




How did you pick these doctors?
We didn’t. Area physicians did. We mailed a survey to more than 90 percent of the physicians with an active medical license in Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg, and Union counties according to a list from the North Carolina Medical Board. That’s around 3,200 surveys. The survey asked a simple question: What doctor would you call if you or a loved one needed medical care? We provided space for two names for each specialty and subspecialty. We received 387 completed, valid surveys. We then tallied the surveys and declared the top vote-getters.

So is this just a big popularity contest, then?
In some ways, yes. Physicians could not vote for themselves, and we asked them to make their selections without regard to hospital, clinic, or health plan affiliations. But there’s not much we can do to stop them from voting for their buddies or colleagues (of course, their buddies and colleagues could well be excellent physicians). Using this list is kind of like asking your own doctor for a referral, except you’re hearing from close to 400 docs instead of just one. The number of responses helps eliminate favoritism or bias.

What if my doctor is not on the list?
If you feel comfortable with your physician, then by all means stick with him or her. This list represents only the top 8 or so percent of the area doctors—there are plenty of great doctors who aren’t on it.

If someone buys an ad, do they automatically get on the list?
No. The survey and its tallying were conducted completely independent from advertising. Results of the survey were not released until the magazine was printed.

I’m a physician, and I’ve never received a survey. Why not?
This is the first year that Charlotte magazine has conducted the survey in-house, so until this year, no one had ever received a survey from the magazine’s office. We mailed a survey to around 90 percent of the names in the four-county region mentioned above. If you did not get one this year, the board may not have your current address. Also, docs get a lot of mail. It might have never reached your in-box for a number of other reasons beyond our control.
Charlotte magazine has, of course, published Top Doctors issues in the past (every year since 1997, in fact). Before this year, we have always acquired our list from one of three outside firms—Best Doctors Incorporated, Castle Connolly, or Center for the Study of Services.

Does Charlotte magazine do background checks on all the doctors on the list?
The magazine’s fact checkers verify every name, address, and phone number. They also plug every name into the state board’s online database (which you can do yourself at www.docboard.org) to make sure there has been no board action taken against any of them.

Charlotte magazine has, of course, published Top Doctors issues in the past (every year since 1997, in fact). Before this year, we have always acquired our list from one of three outside firms— Best Doctors Incorporated, Castle Connolly, or Center for the Study of Services.

Does Charlotte magazine do background checks on all the doctors on the list?
The magazine’s fact checkers verify every name, address, and phone number. They also plug every name into the state board’s online database (which you can do yourself at www.docboard.org) to make sure there has been no board action taken against any of them.

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