Top Doctors List - Does It Really Matter?

Hi there! I hope you are having a good day. I am interested in a Breast Augmentation and I am looking around for surgeons in my area (Seattle WA or King County). How important is it that the doctor gets mentioned in one those "Top Doctors" lists? (Seattle Mag, Customer's Choice Awards, etc.) Is there one list that is more, or less, reliable than others? Should this have any weight in my decision making, in addition to verifying board certification? Do you have any recommendations? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 19

Top Doctors List

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The single most important thing to look for when searching for a doctor to perform a breast augmentation is that he is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Some "top doctors" lists are good, others are not. It is difficult to know how some lists are made. From El Paso.

Top doctor's lists

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Depends on the source.  These lists are highly variable in their quality and accuracy.  Some are paid advertisements while others are peer-recommendations.  Find an ASAPS or ASPS member, interview them, review their before and after pictures, and do your research.  Take your time.  Don't make a selection based solely on price.  And always have your surgery in an accredited facility with an MD anesthesiologist or CRNA in attendance.

Top Doctors List - Does It Really Matter?

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There are two important thing to look for  when searching for a plastic surgeon. The first is whether the surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. There are many boards out there, but the ABPS is the only one recognized by the Board of Medical Specialties for Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons. The second is referrals from other patients. Word of mouth advertising is still the best way to get a sense of the quality of work.

As for top doctor lists, some are legitimate, but with others, doctors pay money to get their names in the directory.  Which is why as a consumer, you should not go by lists alone, but by certification, experience, and whether you feel comfortable with the surgeon.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Dr. Babak Dadvand

How is the Top Doc List compiled?

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I think the most important criteria in choosing your plastic surgeon is board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and recommendations from previous patients.   A great question to ask your surgeon is what percentage of your business is from patient or doctor referrals?  

In regards to Top Doc Lists, I recommend that you be very skeptical.   Very rarely are these lists compiled based on patient or peer review.   They tend to be viewed more as a marketing tool by the doc.

If you are looking for the top doc in your community, ask family and friends who have been through a procedure and go on several consultations until you find the right doctor for you.


Paul S. GIl, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon 

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Picking Your Plastic Surgeon

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I concur with my colleagues here.   More important than any top docs list is the surgeon's credentials/experience:  it is imperative you visit with an American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) member plastic surgeon who is certified specifically by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Ultimately you need to feel confident & comfortable  with your surgeon and his staff.  Best of luck.

Board Certification

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I agree.  It is of utmost importance that you are seen by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Once that is established, it is important that you find a doctor that you feel comfortable with.  Talk to some of their patients to see if they were happy with their results.  

Top Doc's for a price

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The best way to tell a doctor's qualifications is to look at board certification in a real ABMS board, society memberships and hospital privileges. Is his facility safe and accredited? Top Doc lists are just marketing.

Thomas R. Walek, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Value of Top Doc Lists

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In reality, you will find many different responses on this topic depending on whether or not the individual physician has been named in a Top Doc list.  In my town, there is a particular list that is compiled every year that, unfortunately, is an absolute joke.  There have been ophthalmologists in the Plastic Surgeon category, etc.  Now that issue has been fixed but the doctors who are named are named because they are on specific hospital staff and not specifically for their credentials. 

When looking for a good doctor in any field, look at several criteria:

  • Are they Board Certified?  If so, in what field?
  • How long have they been performing the procedure you are interested in? 
  • How many of these procedures do they perform per year?
  • Are you able to speak with past clients who have had this procedure?
  • Do you like their before/after photos?
  • How do they keep up on current trends within their field?
  • Are they considered a trainer?  If so, why?  (e.g.:  national speaker/consultant/trainer)

But, most importanly, what does your gut tell you?  The absolutely last thing that should dictate who you go to is the price. This is not the most important thing.  Keep in mind that it costs far more to fix a bad result than to achieve a good result in the first place.  Also, keep in mind that many of these "Top Doc" ratings are actually no more than a commercial and that they can actually be purchased.

I hope this helps!

"Top Docs" Lists

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At least in Houston,  we have a number of lists that contain well-qualified surgeons and also some less experienced individuals. 

I lost faith in those, however,  when they placed a Dermatologist under the "Top Plastic and Reconstructive Doctors" list !

Top Doctors Lists

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Talking about the "Top Doctor's Lists" is a difficult subject. If you are on them it sounds as if you are bragging and if you are not it sounds as if you are envdious. The problem is that there is no definitive list with an proven method of reassuring quality.  

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.