'Top Docs' can only get better

Filed under: Opinion |

The focus topic for the Aug. 27th issue of CSBJ is Best Physicians. In keeping with that theme, we partnered with M.D. News and sent surveys to doctors in El Paso County and asked them to choose who among their peers are the “Top Docs.”

We included 22 categories on the survey (which was entirely non-scientific). That number was probably a handful or so too few.

When the completed surveys started rolling in, it became very apparent that we had overlooked several deserving specialties. So, let me apologize to the family practitioners, the anesthesiologists, the occupational medicine practitioners, the psychiatrists and the emergency medicine practitioners, and assure you that no slight was intended. This is our first foray into recognizing the medical segment of the business community, and as with any endeavor, not everything went as smoothly as planned.

Rest assured that next year we’ll expand the number of categories and hopefully be as inclusive as possible.

Many of the survey respondents simple noted on their ballot that we had missed a category or two. Some however felt the need to be a bit firmer.

One family practitioner had this to say: “What about family physician? A survey that does not include my specialty is not worth anything.” I’m sorry that the doctor who wrote that feels that way, but I’m glad that there were others who understood the unintentional oversight and filled out the ballot anyway. One doctor even asked us to update the ballot and include a family practice category and return the survey. We weren’t able to do that for this year.

And while we were happy to receive input about how we could make the survey better, some of the returned ballots simply blasted our efforts. One doctor wrote: “This is unprofessional silliness.” Another went a bit farther: “This is a joke! It simply shows that you are promoting a popularity contest between physicians! A consumer poll is often a better judge of a physician’s capabilities of care for a patient than other physicians kissing up to each other.”

Our thoughts weren’t to run a popularity poll. To the contrary, we thought that the folks most qualified to rate area doctors would be their peers. As I said, the poll was unscientific, but judging by the response, I think that those who took the time to write names beside the categories gave their choices due diligence and consideration.

In two weeks, CSBJ will publish profiles of the 26 Top Docs (there were ties in a couple of categories). The profiles also will appear in the October issue of M.D. News.

And next year, we’ll do our best not to leave anybody out.

Managing Editor Mike Boyd can be reached at 634-3223, ext. 206 or Mike.Boyd@csbj.com.