HOW WE DID IT:
How do you decide who will be on the Best Doctors and Pediatric Specialists list?
The list of Best Doctors and Pediatric Specialists begins with a peer voting process. This year, we mailed a letter to 8,936 local doctors from our online directory, inviting them to vote using an online ballot. They could vote for up to three doctors in each category. The nomination form asked them to cast a vote keeping in mind the following question: which Dallas doctors would you trust with the care of a loved one? We vetted each voter’s Texas medical license number to ensure they were valid. We teamed up with DataJoe, our online ballot agency, which validated and tallied the votes. We presented the tallied list to an anonymous panel of esteemed physicians. The panel and D Magazine staff reviewed the tallied results and decided the finalists based on the number of votes in each category. Once the list was finalized, D confirmed each doctor’s Texas medical license status and board certification and investigated his or her disciplinary status.
How do you pick the categories?
The list is designed with the patient in mind. We do not include specialties in which the patient has little or no say, such as anesthesiology or pathology. We present the categories to the panel of doctors to make certain we’re not leaving out a worthy category.
Do doctors have to pay to be on the list?
No, doctors can’t pay to be on the list. After the editorial staff finalizes the list, it is given to our sales department, which invites doctors to buy profiles. These profiles appear elsewhere in the magazine, labeled as paid advertising. But whether the doctors advertise has no bearing on the list. The editorial staff does not know who purchased a profile until the magazine is in the final stages of production.
How does the panel process work?
A panel of esteemed physicians reviews the list. The panel is anonymous to encourage open discussion regarding the doctors on the list. If the panel says that a doctor with a lot of votes is nonetheless not worthy of this recognition because of poor performance or any other reason, we investigate the doctor’s disciplinary history further. If a doctor who is a leader in his field did not receive enough votes, the panel can recommend the doctor be added to the list. Final decisions are deferred to the editorial staff of D.
How do you prevent cheating?
Our online ballot records each voter’s IP address. If we notice a suspicious pattern—a bloc of votes all coming from the same IP address, for instance, or a high number of votes cast in a short time—we investigate. There have been instances where doctors were taken off the list because of ballot stuffing either by the doctor himself or by a doctor’s hospital.
Does D Magazine check the doctors on the list?
Yes, each doctor is checked against the Texas Medical Board’s database for pending disciplinary action and license status. If a doctor is being investigated for pending action or is on license suspension, we remove the doctor from the list. If the doctor has past disciplinary action, we investigate the action further and determine whether he stays on the list on a case-by-case basis. A D fact checker calls each doctor to verify specialty and correct spelling of his or her name. Doctors are removed from the list if we learn that they have moved out of the Dallas area or have stopped seeing patients.
What if I don’t see my doctor on the list?
The list is by no means inclusive. If you don’t see your doctor on here, and he or she is someone you like and trust, you should stick with him or her. If your doctor made the list last year but not this year, it does not mean you should stop seeing him or her. The process of selection starts over every year.
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