Wednesday, June 14, 2006


New York just released its Best Doctors update, a tie-in to the Top Doctors books published by Castle Connolly.

The Best/Top Doctors lists reflect a poll of doctors (not patients) in the metropolitan area. The list in New York is shorter and more selective (and currently more up-to-date) than the one in the book.

How reliable are the lists? At Slate, physician Ken Seplowitz prescribes taking them with a grain of a salt. "To my expert eye," he writes, "every year the New York survey gets it about half right: Half of the selections are first-rate doctors, no doubt about it. Another 25 percent are people whom I don't know well (though I have my doubts), and 25 percent are certifiable duds--doctors who (hopefully) haven't seen a patient in years but have risen to the lofty realm of high society and semi-celebrityhood."

I haven't charted my own experience with the list, but that sounds about right. I think that, when searching for a physician in the medically populous metropolitan area, it's good to seek and consider the advice of doctors you already trust, support group members, and friends in addition to the Best Doctor/Top Doctor guides. It's not easy to sort through all of that, but the method might give you the best odds of getting optimal results.

That said, searching at the new New York list yields six gastroenterologists under the keyword celiac. All but Peter Green are identified as pediatric gastroenterologists.

Half of the recommended celiac specialists are affiliated with the popular Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University: founder Peter Green, Joseph Levy, and Philip Kazlow, who is also affiliated with Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

In New York City as well as Englewood, New Jersey, there's Keith Benkov of Mount Sinai Medical Center/Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

In Westchester, there's Leonard Newman of the Westchester Medical Center/Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center.

And on Long Island, there's Michael Pettei of Schneider Children's Hospital/North Shore University Hospital at Manhasset.

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