View the list of nearly 300 doctors in more than 80 specialties.
For 18 years, we’ve been distributing ballots, tallying votes, and ultimately, giving you access to the most comprehensive list of the city’s leading doctors. During that time, much has changed in the world of medicine: Surgeries have gone robotic. Infertility has become easier to overcome. AIDS has gone from a death-sentence diagnosis to a chronic disease. Yet some things never change. Medicine, for all its improvements and advances, is still an inexact science, and the pathways to a healthy mind and body often remain elusive for patients and doctors alike. // With that in mind, we asked 10 of this year’s Top Docs to help us understand why health care doesn’t always offer easy answers—even though most Americans expect that nearly everything can be cured with a pill or diagnosed with a simple CT scan. On the following pages, we tell their stories of difficult diagnoses, mysterious diseases, medical miracles, challenging treatment options, and a slew of advice about how patients—and physicians—need to remember that doctoring is often as much art as it is science.
In his new book, Being A Doctor: The Art of Medicine (Outskirts Press 2011), ophthalmologist Dr. Joel Goldstein (a Top Doctor 15 times over) speaks first and foremost to up-and-coming physicians, but his words will resonate with anyone who’s ever waited anxiously in an exam room. “If you don’t know the answer, that’s okay,” he writes. “Patients appreciate honesty. Be comfortable requesting an opinion from another physician, or referring the patient out. No one knows everything, especially in medicine.” Which is a stripped-down way of saying the best course of action isn’t always clear. Sometimes “treatment” means multiple office visits, long discussions, exclusionary tests, trial-and-error diagnoses, additional consults, and a hefty dose of patience while the doctor figures out what might be the correct way to move forward.
These doctors’ anecdotes and advice illustrate very clearly that no matter how sophisticated our medical techniques become, patients and doctors are still just humans. And that’s a good thing because it’s the relationship between those two people that offers an opportunity to be better, seek the correct answers, reason through problems, and work until the patient finds his or her version of good health.