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UMHS doctors make list of top U.S. physicians

By Stephanie Shenouda, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 25, 2013

On the heels of a previous distinction, 505 individual University of Michigan Health System doctors were named to the 2012-13 Best Doctors in America list.

UMHS is the most represented institution on the list, which puts the physicians in the top-five percent nationwide for their specialties. The UMHS physicians on the list have increased about 16 percent from 433 when it was last compiled two years ago by the Boston-based Best Doctors.

The list contains more than 45,000 physicians in 40 specialties who were selected on the basis of peer nominations by specialty and surveys regarding their specific practices and patient satisfaction.

Though the awards were individual, Internal Medicine Prof. Kim Eagle, director of the UMHS Cardiovascular Center, said he believes the award strengthens the reputation and morale of the University as a whole.

“The University has a lot of people named to this list year after year, and I’m pleased that we have so many physicians achieving that standard,” Eagle said. “I’m very fortunate that I work in an institution where excellence in clinical care, research, and education are basically expected.”

Eagle also believes that making these lists, though they are subjective by nature, is “integral” in continuing to develop the next generation of physicians.

“As doctors, we seek recognition indirectly,” Eagle said. “You want your work to speak for itself, but in aspiring to be the best and achieving this caliber of recognition in all divisions, it’s important to remember you’re only as good as your last patient.”

Prof. Teresa Jacobs, director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit, said she was notified last week that she had achieved recognition for the second time.

Because Jacobs works with patients in the NICU, she said she doesn’t foresee that this distinction will have a major effect on her clinical practice, but that could be the case for doctors who do more outpatient care.

“I work with very ill patients who have neurological disorders, so my reputation is important, but people come to me because they have to,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs added that the honor demonstrates how far she and her department have come in the last few years.

“I actually work with three other partners, but when I started it was only me and it was hard because I worked in the ICU day and night by myself,” Jacobs said. “Everything gets turned over to you, being critical care trained, but it helped me to see how to better build our program, and how I could make the ICU better than ever before, which is what we’re being recognized for."

Jacobs said though the bar is constantly being raised, this recognition is “intrinsically valuable” because it’s an acknowledgment of the work she does every day.