Health & Wellness
Top Doctors 2017
Where do physicians send sick members of their own families? You'll find the answer right here.
So what’s ailing you?
No matter what it is, from abdominal aortic aneurysms to zygote intrafallopian transfer, there’s a specialist on our Top Doctors list who’s regarded as preeminent in his or her field—not just by us, but by other doctors. That’s what makes this roster—derived from a nine-month-long peer survey—the most dependable, discriminating, and comprehensive such resource in the region.
And if you don’t think anyone understands your affliction, worry not. Thanks to continuous input from the region’s M.D.s—especially those at our two world-renowned teaching hospitals—we add new specialties to the survey every year as technological and medical advances lead to their creation. (Need pediatric sports medicine or wound care? We’ve got you covered.)
We know that 710 docs sounds like a lot, but if you want to know just how discriminating this list is, check the math: Our peer-chosen winners represent fewer than 5 percent of the roughly 13,000 physicians licensed to practice in Baltimore’s readership area.
Dr. Bimal Ashar
Ashar is an associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as the clinical director for the Division of General Internal Medicine, as well as director of the Executive & Preventive Health Program. Ashar’s primary research interests include preventive medicine, dietary supplements, and medical education.
He is also editor of The Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine Board Review, which is in its sixth edition. He is an active member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Stuart B. Bell
Bell, a perennial Top Doctor when he was in private practice, has served as MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s vice president of medical affairs since 2003, and before that as the hospital’s chief of staff. Previously, Bell was the director of employee health service for the Children’s Hospital for Reconstructive Surgery, medical director for Brightwood Health Center, and a consultant for the Baltimore City Health Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has also held teaching roles at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, MedStar hospitals, and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He is a fellow for the American College of Physicians and the American College of Physicians Executives.
Dr. Michael R. Jablonover
Jablonover was appointed two years ago as senior vice president and chief medical officer of University of Maryland Medical Centers (UMMC), overseeing patient safety, health care quality improvement, clinical effectiveness, and the training of residents and fellows. Previously, he served as chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. Jablonover is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He previously served as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine from 1994 to 2005 and was involved in UMMC’s residency training programs, hospitalist program, and medical student-education programs. He is board-certified in internal medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
To arrive at our results, we polled thousands of physicians in the region through our annual online survey—now in its 31st year—asking them which doctors are the best of the best in more than 100 specialties. Participation is always good, and this year was no exception, with close to 20,000 physician names submitted in 124 specialties. (We ruled results as inconclusive in four of those.) Only those M.D.s with the highest number of peer recommendations make the list. (There are a handful of non-M.D. specialties, such as podiatry, as well.)
Assisting with the survey were our three physician advisers (see related biographies above), whose professional expertise and inside intel on the physician community was invaluable. Advisers are not eligible to be included on the list themselves in the year they serve.
The list of specialties is broken down into five categories: general medical, women’s health, pediatric, surgical, and elective.
Margot E. Watson
Hospital affiliation: Howard County General Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Specialty: Gynecology.
Why did you pick this specialty? I love taking care of women throughout all the stages of their lives, with medical care and with surgery when indicated. Of course, there is no more intense and meaningful experience for a doctor than helping a woman through childbirth.
What type of patient case is most gratifying? The most common surgery I do is a laparoscopic hysterectomy, most often for heavy bleeding. When more conservative treatment fails, such terrible bleeding is curable with a surgery that gives women their lives back very quickly.
If you could change one thing in health care, what would it be? Everyone would have equal access to excellent, compassionate medical care, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or financial status.
What hobbies or after-hours causes do you have? I am active in social justice issues: gay rights, civil rights, and women’s rights. I am an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church USA and an active member of my church. I have four small rescue dogs and support animal rescue. I have been on numerous medical trips to help poor women in Pakistan, Nepal, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala.
Any other aspect of your practice that you want people to know about? I welcome lesbian and transgender patients.