Best Doctors for Women 2014
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509 physicians, nominated by their peers, recognized for both their professional expertise and their attention to the specific needs of female patients.
We asked a cross-section of the doctors named on this list, across a range of specialties, to tell us what excites them most about practicing medicine today, what advances lie ahead, and what single piece of advice they would offer each and every patient. We also shine a spotlight on the teams that help the best doctors do their extraordinary work—from the first phone call to schedule an appointment to the wrap-up after the office visit—through one of our Best Doctors, in her own words.
FAQs about Minnesota Monthly’s Best Doctors survey
Who picks the doctors?
Their peers. In August, we sent postcards to more than 10,000 doctors in the 11-county metro area, as well as Olmsted County, based on a mailing list provided by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. Respondents were asked to log on to a secure website and name up to three doctors in each specialty. More than 3,000 doctors were named, but only 509 garnered enough votes to meet the threshold set by our editorial staff.
Why focus on women?
In some cases, the healthcare needs of women and men can be very different. We asked respondents to name the doctors they would recommend to female family members, friends, and loved ones.
Were male doctors excluded?
No. Respondents were instructed to name physicians who were particularly attuned to the needs of their female patients—regardless of gender.
How were the specialties selected?
The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes 24 member boards that grant certification in specialized areas of medical practices. Some of those member boards grant certification in specialties as well. Our staff selected more than 30 specialties and subspecialties from this list, with a preference for specialties that were of particular interest to female patients.
Does advertising affect the poll?
No. The survey is generated, fact-checked, and finalized by our editorial staff. Doctors are not added to or removed from the list based on their advertising history with the magazine.
Best Team for Docs
Good patient experiences today mean nothing less than a total team effort.
Our Best Docs for Women don’t provide such excellent patient care all on their own: When you step into your clinic or doctor’s office, you’re usually entering a big system charged with ushering you to your best outcome—a coordinated team that has to work closely, efficiently, and smartly to meet the demands of medicine and a galaxy of patient types. We asked Kathryn Babich, one of our 2014 Best Doctors for Women and a Park Nicollet obstetrics & gynecology specialist, to introduce us to some of her team members whose work we might appreciate but not always notice.
Kathryn Babich, MD
"So much of our work is about taking a big organization and trying to make it feel smaller—as well as trying to figure out how to take away traditional or preexisting barriers. We look at the whole patient experience: We offer valet parking, financial counselors and guidance, even volunteers who bring in carts of juice and cookies for the patients. The reason I was chosen for this [2014 Best Doctors for Women] is because my team is so strong. I could have named 50 people for this article."
Maureen, Manager, OB/GYN
Maureen is in charge of the clinic and the nursing staff— when I talk about how great the nurses are here, and they are, she’s responsible for that. It’s an exceptional team that cares not just about our patients, but truly each other as well.
Andrea, Senior Director of Women’s Services
Andrea is the glue that holds the whole department together. She’s responsible for all the aspects of women’s care here: coordinating and managing operations for midwives, physicians and nurse practitioners, urogynecologists, gynecologic oncologists, and the perinatologists. (No easy task.)
Anji, Patient Care Coordinator
One study indicated that people’s reading comprehension drops four grades when they’re hearing bad news, or [they hear] only 30% of what is presented in a visit—that is a result of stress, and whether news is good or bad or in between, sometimes it’s hard to process everything from a doctor visit. If a patient has a mammogram or lab work with a different department, Anji works through it with them. No matter how rushed things are, Anji makes you feel like the only person she has to take care of all day long.
Dawn, Call Center
Dawn is one of the first contacts for the patient—she has a calm, welcoming voice and is good at making that instant connection over the phone to focus on the critical information. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait days or weeks for an appointment, only to find out that you’re seeing the wrong person. We’ve often said that it’s the people answering the phones who have the most power in the organization.
Jeanette, Access Valet Assistant
For many of our older patients, and those with mobility issues and young children, just getting to the clinic can be physically exhausting. Removing a barrier like navigating the parking lot makes a huge difference.
Kim is the person who greets the patient when they arrive in the front door, getting the insurance situated and taking care of the paperwork. Medical care can be so intimidating and uncomfortable—anything to reduce the anxiety and make people feel more at ease is so important, just to provide a moment of pause and give them a moment to settle. Kim always makes eye contact, and she has this calm presence. Sometimes doctors are running behind, and that’s not the fault of the frontline staff—they’re kind of like air-traffic controllers because they have to manage both sides of the desk.
Krista is responsible for taking your vitals at the start of the visit, doing preliminary tests and updating records—it’s technical while also making sure the patient is comfortable. Krista has been here for 32 years—she’s like your mom, looking out for your best interest. My mom was a nurse who trained in the late 1950s, the days when they wore white stockings, and in those days they presented their ideas for the doctors to take credit—even though she was smarter than some of the doctors she worked with. Now if someone has a great idea I want to hear about it. There are times when my nurses will correct me, and they should.