Some statistics for your consideration: about 6.5 million people now live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That’s more than the entire state of Texas could claim during World War II. The epicenter of that North Texas population boom has been Collin County. From 2000 to 2007, it was the fastest-growing county in the country. Its population has tripled since 1990. Which brings us to the Best Doctors in Collin County. For years, D Magazine has published an annual list of top physicians that skews toward the region’s urban core, Dallas, because that, for the most part, is where the doctors practice. But with the growth of Collin County and our realization that it has developed its own separate and distinct medical community, we undertook producing the list you see here.

Who Decides?
Frequently asked questions about how the doctors are chosen.

How does D Magazine determine which doctors make the list?
Best Doctors is a peer-review voting process. We rely on the doctors’ expertise to determine who deserves to be on the list. This year, we mailed a letter to 1,540 Collin County doctors from our online directory inviting them to vote using an online ballot. They could vote for up to three doctors in 37 categories. The nomination form asked them to cast a vote bearing in mind the following question: which Collin County doctors would you trust with the care of a loved one? This year, 312 doctors voted. We vetted each voter’s Texas medical license number. We then sent the results to an outside marketing firm to tally the votes. We presented the tallied list to an anonymous panel of esteemed physicians. The panel and D staff reviewed the tallied results and decided on the finalists based on the number of votes in each category. Once the list was finalized, D confirmed each doctor’s Texas medical license status and board certification and investigated his disciplinary status.

Why did you decide to publish a Collin County Best Doctors list this year?
The medical community suggested the idea. Physicians over the years have told us that our annual list of Best Doctors skews toward Dallas County. The larger hospitals and medical groups in Dallas guarantee that we hear from more Dallas doctors than we do Collin County doctors. Curiously, as we went through the process this year, we learned that the doctors in Dallas and in Collin counties are, to a large extent, part of two distinct communities.

How did you decide who is in Collin County?
We requested the list of ZIP codes from the county’s GIS/Rural Addressing department. We handed over these ZIP codes to the outside marketing firm that tallies the results. They threw out doctors who did not fall into one of these ZIPs. If a doctor has multiple offices and takes patients in an office in Collin County, he remains eligible. If a doctor fell into a ZIP code that shares a county (like 75080), we looked up the doctor’s address in an interactive ZIP code map to ensure he fell within the county lines.

How do you pick the categories?
The list is designed with the patient in mind. We do not include specialties in which the patient has little or no say. We also do not include pediatrics, which is vast enough to warrant its own list. We present the categories to the panel of doctors to make certain we’re not leaving out a worthy category.

Do doctors have to pay to be on the list?
No, a doctor cannot pay to be on the list. After the editorial staff finalizes the list, it is given to our sales department, which invites doctors to buy profiles. Those profiles appear elsewhere in the magazine, labeled as paid advertising. But whether the doctors advertise or not has no bearing on this list. The editorial department does not know who purchased a profile until the magazine is in the final stages of production.

How does the panel process work?
A panel of esteemed physicians reviews the list. The panel is anonymous to encourage open discussion. If the panel says that a doctor with a lot of votes is nonetheless not worthy of this recognition due to poor performance or any other reason, we investigate the doctor’s disciplinary history further. If a doctor who is a leader in his field did not receive enough votes, the panel can recommend that the doctor be added to the list. Final decisions are deferred to the editorial staff of D Magazine.
 
How do you prevent cheating?
Our online ballot records each voter’s IP address. If we notice a suspicious pattern, we investigate. There have been instances where doctors were taken off the list due to ballot stuffing either by the doctor himself or by the doctor’s hospital.

Does D Magazine check the doctors on the list?
Yes, each doctor is checked against the Texas Medical Board’s database for pending disciplinary action and license status. If a doctor is currently being investigated for a pending action or on license suspension, we remove the doctor from the list. If a doctor has past disciplinary action, we determine whether he stays on the list on a case-by-case basis. A D Magazine fact checker calls each doctor to verify specialty and correct spelling of name. Doctors are removed from the list if we learn that they are not practicing in Collin County, have moved out of Collin County, or have stopped seeing patients.

What if I don’t see my doctor on the list?
This list is by no means inclusive. If you don’t see your doctor here, and he is someone you like and trust, you should stick with him. If your doctor made the list last year but not this year, it does not mean you should stop seeing him. The selection process starts over every year.


Click here to see the full list of the Best Doctors in Collin County 2012.