How are the doctors’ names organized?

The doctors are listed alphabetically by specialty and by areas of special interest, as well as by primary hospital affiliation. (See below for more information on the hospitals.)

How did you pick the doctors listed in this story?

Chicago turned to Castle Connolly Medical, a health care research and information company in New York City. Many city magazines, including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, use Castle Connolly to put together similar lists. 

OK, so how did Castle Connolly pick the doctors?

“We believe that physicians are the best judges of other physicians’ clinical excellence,” explains William Liss-Levinson, the company’s chief strategy and operations officer. So the firm makes an annual survey available to all licensed physicians nationwide, asking them to nominate up to 10 doctors they view as the best in their own specialty and up to three MDs in other specialties. They are instructed to take into account such factors as education, hospital appointment, board certifications, and bedside manner. Doctors cannot nominate themselves. Castle Connolly got more than 120,000 nominations in 2014. 

What next?

Researchers tracked which doctors received the most nominations and reviewed each physician’s education, training, hospital affiliations, and professional activities, verifying that all were licensed and board certified and that their disciplinary records were clean. To achieve a fair balance across specialties, they eliminated some doctors in fields for which they had a high number of nominees and added some in less-represented fields. The result: a list of 6,750 people—less than 2 percent of the nation’s doctors in clinical practice. Their names appear in the 14th edition of America’s Top Doctors ($34.95, Of those 6,750, 355 practice in the six-county Chicago area. 

Why are there so many more doctors listed in Cook County than in other counties?

Because of its huge population. According to the most recent census data, more than 5 million people live in Cook County, nearly six times as many as live in DuPage, the second-most populous county in the metro area. 

Can doctors pay to appear on this list?

Absolutely not. Please don’t confuse this story with the advertisements that appear together toward the end of the magazine, labeled “Special Advertising Feature.” Just as the label says, those are ads run by doctors or by medical practices. “Chicago’s Top Doctors” is not an ad—never has been, never will be. 

If my doctor is not listed, do I have a bad doctor?

Given the methodology, it’s inevitable that many terrific doctors will not be on the list. If you’re happy with your doctor, stay put.

I called to make an appointment with a doctor on this list, but she’s not taking new patients.

Ask that doctor’s office for a referral to a trusted colleague. 


ACL anterior cruciate ligament

ADD attention deficit disorder

ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome

ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)

ARDS acute respiratory distress syndrome

COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CT computed tomography

ED erectile dysfunction

GERD gastroesophageal reflux disease

HIV human immunodeficiency virus

IBD inflammatory bowel disease

IVF in vitro fertilization

LASIK laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis

LCH Langerhans cell histiocytosis

MRI magnetic resonance imaging

MS multiple sclerosis

PET positron emission tomography

PTSD posttraumatic stress disorder

SLE systemic lupus erythematosus

STD sexually transmitted disease

Guide to Hospital Abbreviations

ALEXIAN Alexian Brothers Medical Center (800 Biesterfield Rd., Elk Grove Village)

CHICAGO University of Chicago Medicine (5841 S. Maryland Ave.)

CHRIST Advocate Christ Medical Center and Children’s Hospital (4440 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn) COMER University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital (5721 S. Maryland Ave.)

CTCA Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (2520 Elisha Ave., Zion)

DuPAGE Central DuPage Hospital (25 N. Winfield Rd., Winfield)

EVANSTON NorthShore Evanston Hospital (2650 Ridge Ave., Evanston)

GLENBROOK NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital (2100 Pfingsten Rd., Glenview)

GOOD SAMARITAN Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (3815 Highland Ave., Downers Grove)

GOTTLIEB Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (701 W. North Ave., Melrose Park)

HIGHLAND PARK NorthShore Highland Park Hospital (777 Park Avenue West, Highland Park)

HINES Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (5000 S. Fifth Ave., Hines)

IEEI University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary (1855 W. Taylor St.)

IHHSS University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (1740 W. Taylor St.)

INGALLS Ingalls Memorial Hospital (One Ingalls Dr., Harvey)

LA GRANGE Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital (5101 S. Willow Springs Rd., La Grange)

LIGHTHOUSE The Chicago Lighthouse (1850 W. Roosevelt Rd.)

LOYOLA Loyola University Health System (2160 S. First Ave., Maywood)

LURIE Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (225 E. Chicago Ave.)

LUTHERAN Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (1775 W. Dempster St., Park Ridge)

MARIANJOY Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital (26W171 Roosevelt Rd., Wheaton)

MASONIC Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (836 W. Wellington Ave.)

McDONALD Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital-Loyola (2160 S. First Ave., Maywood)

NORTHSHORE Northshore Orthopaedic Institute (680 N. Lake Shore Dr.)

NORTHWESTERN Northwestern Memorial Hospital (251 E. Huron St.)

RIC Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (345 E. Superior St.)

RUSH Rush University Medical Center (1653 W. Congress Pkwy.)

SCHWAB Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital (1401 S. California Blvd.)

SHERMAN Advocate Sherman Hospital (1425 N. Randall Rd., Elgin)

SKOKIE NorthShore Skokie Hospital (9600 Gross Point Rd., Skokie)

ST. FRANCIS Presence St. Francis Hospital (355 Ridge Ave., Evanston)

ST. JOSEPH Presence St. Joseph Hospital (2900 N. Lake Shore Dr.)

SOUTH SUBURBAN Advocate South Suburban Hospital (17800 Kedzie Ave., Hazel Crest)

SWEDISH Swedish Covenant Hospital (5145 N. California Ave.)