Frequently Asked Questions

Seattle magazine’s annual Top Doctors issue will be published in July 2015 and read by nearly 270,000 people. With stories about medical trends, profiles of selected Top Doctors and listings of hundreds of top physicians as determined by a comprehensive, controlled peer-to-peer survey conducted by our research partner, Bellevue-based GMA Research, Seattle magazine publishes the area’s most trusted Top Doctors issue.

Who can participate in the nomination process?

All licensed physicians in the Puget Sound area (from Tacoma to Everett and the Olympic Peninsula to Issaquah) may participate in the online survey. We only survey doctors because our readers appreciate the authority and credibility of a peer-to-peer recommendation. This includes: medical doctors (M.D.), osteopaths (D.O.), naturopaths (N.D.), oriental medicine doctors (OMD), acupuncturists (LAc), podiatrists (DPM), optometrists (O.D.) and chiropractors (D.C.).

How much time should doctors set aside for the nomination process?

About 2 to 4 minutes to complete the personal information form, and another 10 minutes or so, depending upon the number of nominations. Most doctors will complete the survey in less than 15 minutes.

How does the online nomination process work? How is it controlled?

The doctor must first register and then nominate. Here’s how the process works.

1. Go to—any time between January 12 and January 26, 2015. EXTENDED THROUGH FEBRUARY 2, 2015.

2. Register by providing NPI# (National Provider Identification number) name, medical specialty, hospital and/or clinic, zip code and email address. Doctors who don’t have their NPI# handy can find it at

3. Doctors then proceed directly to the nomination form. During the nomination window, they can save their nominations, log out and return at any time to nominate other doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Why are non-board-certified specialties and alternative medicine included?

We have expanded our list of specialties in response to our readers who have expressed an interest in learning about the top practitioners in everything from sleep medicine to acupuncture—as recommended by physicians.

Can I nominate a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?

For the second year in a row, we are giving doctors a chance to recognize up to three nurse practitioners (adult and pediatric) and physician assistants (adult and pediatric) who set the bar for excellence in health care.

How do you decide who is included in the listing of Top Doctors?

Several factors are taken into consideration when the selection of Top Doctors is made. Nominations from all physicians are tallied and those who are nominated the most times in each specialty are candidates for inclusion. Other factors weighed include the total number of physicians practicing in each specialty, consumer demand for a specialty, the vote distribution, the standing of the candidates, geography, education and residency.

How do you decide which stories to write about?

Physicians on Seattle magazine’s Top Doctors Advisory Board provide input, and editors poll health organizations and other sources for story ideas. We also track health trends throughout the year, read other publications widely and consult with writers who specialize in health care reporting. We are interested in stories that appeal to our consumer audience and are provocative and timely. We welcome your story ideas for our Top Doctors issue as well as our Seattle Health magazine. Please contact Mandolin Brassaw at

How do you decide which doctors to profile?

This is the editors’ choice, based on a variety of factors, including health trends that appeal to our readers’ interests and needs, nomination results, past profiles and hospital or clinic affiliations. (We try to vary the coverage to showcase multiple organizations, specialties, etc.)

Who conducts the Top Doctors Survey for Seattle magazine?

Data collection and evaluation for Seattle Magazine's 2015 Top Doctors survey is being managed by a team led by GMA Research and CHCS Internet Development. GMA is a nationally recognized, independent research firm with over thirty years of experience conducting surveys for clients in the health care industry and other sectors. CHCS Internet Development has been developing and hosting websites for clients since 1994 including a number of major health care providers. For more information, please visit or respectively.