Top Doctors, Best Outdoor Patios and More July 2014 Issue Picks

Rachel Hart  |   July 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
rachel hart seattle magazine

It’s the doctor appointment I have to brace myself for every time it comes around. I make the mad dash across town, park the car in the Whale Garage (as the paperwork emphasizes), head through the sliding doors—and take a deep breath.

Every time I am at Seattle Children’s, I am completely humbled. I take one of my sons to the mega regional children’s hospital and research center every other year to check in on a shoulder and spine issue he was born with. After we pass through the impressive security stations and head to his doctor’s department (Dr. Mark Dales, who happens to be on this year’s list), we notice the other children and their families making their ways about the hospital. Most families are clearly there for reasons far more dire than ours. I start to feel ashamed for whining about having to skip out of work and navigate Seattle’s brutal east-west traffic. I grab my son’s shoulder and give it a squeeze which he, of course, quickly shrugs off in his preteen “Mom!” way. But I know even he understands how lucky we are to be there for just a short visit.

I admire doctors who specialize in children’s health issues; it would be way too crushing to think about the bad days at work. At our Top Doctors recognition party a few years ago, I was listening to one of our award recipients—a neonatal surgeon from Children’s—humbly give an acceptance speech, and I couldn’t help but think that he probably had been operating on a fetus—in utero!—or doing something equally heroic earlier that day. Getting a magazine to the printers suddenly didn’t seem so monumental.

But as important as it is to have that kind of admiration and confidence in your doctor, finding one in the first place can be daunting. When you have a very specific condition for which there are a limited number of specialists, in some ways your choice is easier. With other specialties, it’s wide-open territory. And, of course, it often simply comes down to whom your insurance covers and what you’re willing to pay out of pocket.

While this year’s list of Top Doctors includes professionals recommended by their peers, it is only a starting point. In this day of New Health Care (read more about that here), managing your own care is more important than ever, so just like you’d check the references of a child care provider or a job applicant, it’s important to do some research on your potential doctors to make the right decision (see our methodology here to find out how).

Top picks elsewhere in this issue include the best places for outdoor dining. Patio umbrellas are in full bloom this time of year, so keep this issue by your side as you dine your way through town. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Doctors: They’re just like us! Our cover docs, playing a little pingpong after the Studio 3 photo shoot