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  • Our Annual Must-Have List of Denver’s Top Doctors

    With 315 physicians in 95 medical specialties, we're bound to have the doc you need.


    Search our 2015 Top Doctors directory at and discover the 21 health and wellness issues every Coloradan should know about here.)

    Who Decides?

    Frequently asked questions about the Top Doctors selection process.

    Why didn’t you choose my doctor?

    We don’t pick the docs—Denver physicians do. For the past 22 years, 5280 has surveyed doctors and asked them, specialty by specialty, which metro-area physicians they would trust to treat themselves and their families. Our theory is that medical professionals are best qualified to judge other medical professionals. The ballot is posted online at from mid-January to mid-March each year. Every metro-area doctor with a valid Colorado medical license can fill it out. Once the doctor hits “save,” the votes are entered into our database and tallied.

    So doesn’t that make it a big popularity contest?

    In many respects, yes. We hope that doctors give us careful, responsible answers, but there’s little we can do to stop them from recommending their golfing buddies. Using the list is a lot like going to your doctor and asking for a referral. The difference is we’re asking a lot more doctors than you’d ever have the chance to. Also, by working to raise our return rate each year (it was 14 percent this year), we hope to correct for politics. The more doctors who participate, the less chance that any one person’s aspirations will win out.

    I thought my doc was a good physician, but she’s not on the list. What does that mean?

    Nothing. She probably is a good doctor. The selection of doctors by peer review can leave many excellent doctors off the list. Because longtime, well-known doctors have the advantage of name recognition, the list may favor that kind of doctor. However, that in no way means your doctor isn’t qualified and completely competent.

    I’m a doctor, and I couldn’t access the online ballot. Why?

    We get the database of all licensed physicians in the state from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and select the doctors located in the seven metro-area counties (Denver, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Adams, Douglas, and Jefferson), which results in a list of more than 10,000 docs. If you attempted to log on to the system with your last name and physician license number and received a pop-up response that “5280 could not locate your profile,” that means there is a disconnect between your information and the information we have in the system. If you’ve recently moved to Colorado and haven’t updated your address with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, for example, your license will not register as local and therefore will be invalid. If you have registered your license at an address outside the seven metro-area counties, you will not be in our database. If you have a hard-to-spell last name or if you’ve recently changed your name, it’s possible the information we have from the state is incorrect and you will have trouble logging in.

    In the future, if you have difficulty logging in to our system, please use the “comment” tool on the website and let us know. We’re happy to work through the problem so you can vote.

    I’ve heard the list is rigged—that only doctors who advertise with 5280 make it. Is that true?

    Nope. The Top Doctors list is completely unaffected by which doctors advertise in the magazine. In fact, less than two percent of doctors on this year’s list are print advertisers (a handful more advertise online with Doctors sometimes choose to advertise after they’ve been chosen for the list, but how much or if and when doctors choose to advertise are not taken into consideration. Period.

    How are the medical specialties chosen?

    Through the years we’ve worked to improve Top Doctors by updating the categories, increasing the number of eligible voters, and considering suggestions from health-care professionals. For nearly a decade, our categories have included only specialties approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (although we do not include every American Board of Medical Specialties specialty). This system for choosing categories eases the confusion among doctors filling out the survey and reduces the amount of lobbying we get from doctors and hospitals that’d like us to include some more obscure specialties.

    So why aren’t categories such  as chiropractic and podiatry ever included?

    Although these areas of medicine are completely relevant, respectable, and necessary, our list is a physician-only (M.D.s and D.O.s) directory.

    Does 5280 check out all the doctors on the list?

    The magazine’s research department independently verifies every doctor’s name, phone number, office address, and hospital affiliation. We also take the additional step of sending our list to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for approval—meaning doctors on our list do not currently have disciplinary actions against their licenses.

    You sometimes choose doctors to be profiled or to serve as sources for the story. How do you select them?

    Although we don’t do this every year, 5280 does like to introduce you to some of our Top Doctors through small profiles or by using them to explain different aspects of medicine. We believe this is a great way to show our readers that these physicians are not just names on a list. In choosing doctors to include, we do our best to vary the medical specialties represented and introduce you to doctors we
    have never profiled before.

    Denver Metro-Area Hospitals

    Because of space restrictions, we abbreviate the names of some of the area hospitals in the listings. Below are our abbreviations and the official names, as well as their health-care systems. If applicable, we will include the name of smaller surgical centers in listings; however, they are not included below.

    Aurora – The Medical Center of Aurora—HealthOne
    Aurora South – The Medical Center of Aurora-South Campus—HealthOne
    Avista – Avista Adventist Hospital—Centura Health
    Boulder Community – Boulder Community Health
    Castle Rock – Castle Rock Adventist Hospital—Centura Health
    Children’s – Children’s Hospital Colorado
    Craig – Craig Hospital
    Denver Health – Denver Health Medical Center
    Good Samaritan – Good Samaritan Medical Center—SCL Health
    Kindred – Kindred Hospital Denver
    Littleton – Littleton Adventist Hospital—Centura Health
    Longmont – Longmont United Hospital
    Lutheran – Lutheran Medical Center—SCL Health
    National Jewish – National Jewish Health
    North Suburban – North Suburban Medical Center—HealthOne
    OrthoColorado – OrthoColorado Hospital—Centura Health
    Parker – Parker Adventist Hospital—Centura Health
    Platte Valley – Platte Valley Medical Center
    Porter – Porter Adventist Hospital—Centura Health
    Presbyterian/St. Luke’s – Presbyterian/St. Luke’s
    Medical Center—HealthOne
    RMHC – Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children—HealthOne
    Rose – Rose Medical Center—HealthOne
    Sky Ridge – Sky Ridge Medical Center—HealthOne
    Spalding – Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital—HealthOne
    St. Anthony – St. Anthony Hospital—Centura Health
    84th Avenue – 84th Avenue Neighborhood
    Health Center—Centura Health
    St. Joseph – Saint Joseph Hospital—SCL Health
    Swedish – Swedish Medical Center—HealthOne
    University – University of Colorado Hospital­—UCHealth
    Veterans – Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center

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