Chicago magazine's January issue hits newsstands Thursday, December 13. To schedule an interview with one of our writers or editors, please contact Allison Roche at

Top Hospitals (Cover Story) – In a city full of health care options, where should you go when you face a complex surgery or other health crisis? Experts say research is the key to finding top-notch medical care, but where do you begin? Chicago has done the legwork for you by sorting through the most relevant data available on medical quality to come up with our first-ever ranking of the 12 best medical institutions in the metro area. Unlike national hospital rankings that give more weight to a hospital’s reputation and are therefore possibly biased toward subjective factors, our ranking relies more heavily on objective, measurable data along with surveys of local experts who know Chicago’s hospitals best. Plus: How they stack up to the nation’s finest and the top three specialty hospitals in the area.

Lawmakers Gone Wild – In an exclusive investigation with the nonprofit Better Government Association, Chicago analyzed campaign disclosure records from 2007 to 2012 for thousands of political campaign committees to reveal how some Illinois politicians are living large on their campaigns’ dime. Their astounding expenditures include four-star dining, luxury cars, exotic getaways, sports tickets, parking tickets, and other extravagances that would be otherwise unaffordable on a public servant’s salary and arguably have little to do with getting reelected. This article details the biggest offenders, what they have purchased with campaign funds, why this is a particular problem in Illinois, and how to fix it.

Let Us Prey – A string of assaults and sexual crimes committed by pastors across the country have one thing in common: The perpetrators have ties to megachurch First Baptist in Hammond, Indiana. What in God’s name is going on here?

Great Escapes – We found six incredible destinations, broken down into whether you have 8, 5, or 3 days to get away from the Chicago winter. Our picks include both warm-weather and snowy locales, with recommendations on what to do, eat, and see while you're there.

Captain of Indices – We interview Charles Evans, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, to get his projections for the national economy in 2013, as well as his analysis of the specific challenges facing the Chicago economy.

The Sting – Inside the weird and wonderful world of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers.