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 all 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. 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 hired a firm to input the results, then tallied the votes.

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 a few hundred docs instead of just one. The number of responses helps eliminate favoritism or bias.

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.

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 7 or so percent of the area doctors—there are plenty of great doctors who aren't on it.

I'm a physician, and I've never received a survey. Why not?
We purchased our list from the state medical board. If you did not get one this year, the board may not have your current address. Also, the survey might have never reached your in-box for a number of other reasons beyond our control.
Are these doctors accepting new patients?
Some are; some aren't. Because that status can change from month to month, we did not include that information.

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