Medscape Survey: US Physicians' Top Hospital Picks for 2017

Megan Brooks

July 21, 2017

The hospital you go to for procedures or other medical care can make a huge difference in outcome. So where would US doctors want to receive needed care?

Medscape asked 8504 doctors across more than 25 specialties for their opinion of where they would want to be treated or where they'd send a family member for treatment of a complex or difficult condition, assuming no barriers to treatment at their preferred hospital.

The most important factors in choosing their top hospitals were having medically respected physician expertise (42%) and a good reputation among colleagues (19%). Having a specific physician at the hospital (13%), access to leading technology (10%), and low error rates (7%) also were important.

Among all physicians, their first choice for breast cancer treatment was Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York City), followed by MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas), Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester (Minnesota), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, Massachusetts), and the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio).

Oncologists also chose these hospitals but picked University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor) over the Cleveland Clinic.

Top picks for prostate cancer treatment among all physicians were Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, Maryland), and the Cleveland Clinic. Top picks among oncologists were the same for the most part, but they also liked Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Most of these same hospitals were also top picks for lung cancer treatment among all physicians and oncologists.

For hip replacement, top picks among all physicians included Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City), Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, the Cleveland Clinic, Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, Illinois), and New England Baptist Hospital (Boston).  Surgeons for the most part agreed but also liked Mayo Clinic Hospital (Phoenix, Arizona).

For cardiac conditions, top picks among all doctors were the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, New York-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), and Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Cardiologists favored Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, California), the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, and Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City).

Most of these same hospitals were top picks for interventional cardiac surgery among all physicians and cardiologists.

For treatment of infectious disease/HIV, doctors in general would want to be treated at Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.  Infectious disease/HIV specialists favored Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital but also liked Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Emory University Hospital (Atlanta, Georgia).

For stroke care, top picks among all physicians included Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco, California).  Cardiologists also liked these hospitals for stroke care, as well as Brigham and Women's Hospital.

For multiple sclerosis care, doctors and neurologists also liked these same hospitals for multiple sclerosis care, and neurologists also favored UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The Medscape survey was conducted between December 5, 2016, and March 27, 2017.  The sampling error is ±1.1% for national reporting and ±3.3% to 5% for subgroups, such as specialty, with 95% confidence interval.  For greater detail, see the full report, Physicians' Choice: Top Hospitals 2017.

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