Top Doctors

Top Doctors 2011

Our 15th Edition

How Is Top Doctors Created?

Frequently asked questions about the Top Doctors process.

How are doctors on this list chosen?

We send out the Top Doctors survey to 2,500 randomly selected physicians and 2,500 randomly selected registered nurses. These doctors and nurses fill out the survey, telling us which doctors they would go to in pre-selected specialties, and then return the survey to us. About 20 percent of the surveys mailed out are returned, which is a good rate of return for a mail survey. We then tally the results, and physicians who receive the top 15 percent (approximately) of the vote in each specialty become our Top Doctors.

How do you decide whom to send the survey to?

We request a list from the Mailing List Service from the State of Minnesota’s list of licensed physicians and nurses in the 10-county metro area. The service—not Mpls.St.Paul—randomly selects which doctors and nurses get sent the survey. The survey is not sent to clinics, hospitals, or health care groups, just to the individuals at the addresses they have given to the licensing board.

How are the medical specialties chosen?

Each year we re-evaluate which specialties to include. We only include specialties certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Why isn’t my doctor on this list?

While we like to think that every doctor on this list is good, not every good doctor makes it onto this list. It can be hard for newer doctors or doctors in smaller practices to make this list. Plus, we may not include a specialty that your doctor practices.

Isn’t this list just a popularity contest?

Unfortunately, we cannot control if a doctor votes for everyone at his or her clinic or in his or her group. In sending surveys to randomly selected people, we hope to avoid a lot of politics, but we can only do so much. Any attempt at ballot stuffing disqualifies a doctor, and copied surveys are discarded. Using this list is a lot like going to your doctor for a recommendation, but we ask more doctors than you ever could. Please use this list as a starting point in finding a doctor.

Do doctors need to be advertisers to be on the list?

No. We put the list together before our advertising team even starts its work. Some doctors do choose to advertise after they know they’re on the list, but advertising does not guarantee a spot on the list.

Does Mpls.St.Paul Magazine check all doctors on the list?

We contact all the doctors to verify their information. We also check to make sure they’re board certified and in good standing with the medical board. Most of the doctors are specialty certified, but some are not. Please check with your doctor regarding specialty certifications. More details can be found at

Where can I find additional information?

More information, including addresses, is available on our website at