Dr James Schaller
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James Schaller, MD Elected to the "Best Doctors in America"

Two renowned physicians affiliated with Harvard Medical School founded Best Doctors, Inc. in 1989. Their goal was to provide greater access to dependable, high quality medical information and care for individuals with serious illnesses and injuries. That concept continues to propel Best Doctors and has led to their pioneering work being featured on 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reader's Digest and CNN. Today, Best Doctors is the world's leading resource for patients, families and physicians seeking expert medical resources and guidance to treat illnesses and injuries of all kinds.

Physicians Rating the "Best" American Physicians

Best Doctors believes that physicians are the most qualified to evaluate the experience and skill sets of other physicians. The Best Doctors survey asks physicians: "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?" The responses form the basis of the Best Doctors' global database, which has been consistently recognized by doctors, patients and the public for its quality and integrity.

Isn't asking "If you or a loved one..." a little simplistic?

Actually, by presenting this question Best Doctors is mimicking the informal, peer-to-peer referral process that doctors themselves use to determine the most appropriate physicians for individual cases. Best Doctors' evaluation process is much more complex than this initial question. This process takes place biennially, by physicians included in the Best Doctors database. Specialists complete ballots on other doctors in their own and in related specialties. During this nine to twelve month period, doctors may also nominate and provide information on other physicians who they think should be considered in the peer review process.

How can Best Doctors avoid reflecting
personal bias in the database?

There are enough doctors participating in the survey each year to prevent this from happening. Also, Best Doctors' survey expands beyond urban areas to ensure physicians do not see their colleagues voted in year after year.

How do you decide which doctors to survey?

The unique strength of the Best Doctors survey is that only the best may participate; only the current Best Doctors physicians receive our survey to nominate and vote. This is not a random survey.

Does Best Doctors pay physicians or can physicians
pay Best Doctors to be included?

No, Best Doctors does not pay physicians to be in the database. Conversely, a doctor cannot pay to be part of the database. The only way a physician can be listed in the database is to receive a high enough overall score through the peer review polling process.

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