Finding a new doctor can be incredibly daunting. It can difficult to know where to start, what to look for and who to ask. The Internet can only offer a small amount of help. Many of us count on recommendations from other doctors. Thankfully, we’ve been able to provide a list of the doctors whom other doctors recommend in our seventh annual Best Doctors issue.

To make this list, specialists complete ballots on other doctors in their specialty or related specialty. They can nominate doctors they think should be on the list as well. Using this information, Best Doctors, Inc., is able to compile the Best Doctors in America® list.

By no means does this list encompass all of Greater Cincinnati’s excellent doctors. Omission from this database does not diminish or disparage the professional abilities and expertise of other local physicians.

Click here for a searchable database of this year's list.

— THE EDITORS

 

 

Dr. Edward Schloss
Cardiology • The Christ Hospital

When it comes to keeping one’s heart healthy, the simple advice really does work.

Dr. Edward J. Schloss, director of electrophysiology for The Christ Hospital says, “Don’t smoke. Get a good night’s sleep. Go for a long walk each day. Eat healthy food. Find the things that make you smile.”

Schloss says, “The simple stuff really does work.”

But for those who have developed heart problems, Schloss has some advice for heart patients. “Establishing an open relationship with your doctors and nurses is critical for your health,” Schloss says.

“Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Cardiac care isn’t defined by tests and procedures. If your doctor won’t listen to you, find another caregiver,” he says.

It’s also a good idea to learn about your heart disease. Ready access to health-care information via the Internet or the local library is a great tool to help patients when they visit their doctor.

“The patients who get the most of an office visit are the ones who focus on what questions to ask,” Schloss says. “It’s always best when we work together to find the answers.”

And today’s technology is leading to more and better answers for cardiac care. Schloss says, “Implantable and wearable devices with remote wireless sensors allow caregivers 24/7 access to a whole panel of medical information.

“As these technologies continue to develop, we will be in a better position to predict and intervene in disease processes. The annual MD visit will become less and less important.”

–Eric Spangler


 

 

Dr. Marc T. Galloway
Orthopedic Surgeon • Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Mercy Health

For those who have decided to participate in a new sport, or return to a sport for the health benefits, taking it easy in the beginning is the key to preventing an injury.

Dr. Marc T. Galloway, an orthopedic surgeon with Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center and the head team physician for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, says a slow and steady progression in a new exercise regime can help prevent a visit to the doctor.

“A good rule of thumb is when adopting a new sport or returning to a sport to not increase your activity by more than 10 percent at a time,” he says.

But Galloway, who specializes in the treatment of knee and shoulder injuries, says even recreational athletes who have built up their bodies to withstand the rigors of competitive sports are still susceptible to the same traumatic knee and shoulder injuries as high school, college and professional athletes.

“These include knee ligament injuries such as ACL tears as well as shoulder dislocations and rotator cuff injuries,” says Galloway. The good news for those patients is that today’s technological advances, particularly minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures, have greatly reduced the postoperative pain and recovery, he says.

And the future of sports medicine is even brighter. Galloway is part of a team at the University of Cincinnati working to improve healing through tissue engineering.

“One day, surgeons will be able to grow a replacement for a torn anterior cruciate ligament instead of having to use tissue from another part of the body as a replacement,” Galloway says.

–Eric Spangler


 

 

Dr. Lynn Babcock
Pediatric Emergency Medicine • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries in professional and collegiate sports get a lot of attention, but are often overlooked in children.

“It’s harder to recognize in children because the signs and symptoms are more subtle and it requires that someone is paying attention,” says Dr. Lynn Babcock, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine since 2009.

She has done extensive research into finding a blood test or radiographic image marker to make a more definite diagnosis.

“A CAT scan is the typical test you do, but it detects big brain bleeds,” she says. “Most kids who have a concussion have a normal head CT. You have to figure out what else do you do besides look for signs and symptoms.”

Dr. Babcock says her medical interest in childhood concussions grew out of her experience as figure skater (She coaches skating at the Indian Hill Winter Club).

Here advice to parents? Be aware of the signs such a headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and nausea and vomiting.

“I tell parents: Equate it to a broken arm. You’d put that in cast and not over use it until it was healed. It’s the same with your brain. You can’t put a cast on your brain. But you should rest it. Take it easy. Stay hydrated and slowly return to normal daily activities.”

About 80 percent of kids recover from traumatic brain injuries in two to three weeks, she says.

– Mike Boyer


 

 

Dr. Irfan Firdaus, D.O.
Medical Oncology and Hematology • OHC - Specialists in Cancer and Blood Disorders

As an oncologist and hematologist, Dr. Firdaus is part of a multi-disciplinary team that treats patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or malignant or benign blood disorders.

OHC emphasizes patient-centric care. Patients come first. Patients receive accessible, efficient care designed to achieve the best possible outcome. That means good, cost-effective, evidence-based treatments, Dr. Firdaus emphasizes.

"When a patient comes in, it's often overwhelming for them," Dr. Firdaus says. There is a tremendous amount of information to absorb and choices to make. "Not to mention they've just been told they have cancer a few days before," he says.

To help them, patients meet with a nurse navigator who provides education, support and guidance during their treatment. Financial navigators are also available.

Patients are encouraged to participate in clinical research trials with the aim of improving their treatment and furthering oncology research.

Dr. Firdaus, who oversees the gastro-intestinal clinical research trials at OHC, believes strongly in furthering cancer research. He says that OHC patients have access to clinical trials that aren't available otherwise.

Dr. Firdaus has been at OHC for 10 years. With more than 60 physicians and advanced practice providers, OHC treats nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorders with medical, radiation and gynecologic oncology specialists. OHC also offers clinical research trials in cutting-edge protocols, and the most experienced adult blood and marrow transplant center in Cincinnati. With neighborhood locations throughout the Tristate area, OHC is one of the largest independent oncology practices in the United States.

– Brian L. Meyers


 

 

Krystene DiPaola, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology • UC Health Center for Reproductive Health

Some 15 percent of women have difficulties getting pregnant, says Dr. Krystene DiPaola. These are the people who come to the UC Health Center for Reproductive Health.

Dr. DiPaola’s patients come from “all walks of life; all socio-economic groups; all ethnicities,” she says.

While the Center isn’t the only fertility clinic in Cincinnati, they do see some of the most difficult patients, she says. Some patients have complex past medical histories. However, all of them receive individualized treatments tailored to their specific needs.

The clinic is state-of-the-art, Dr. DiPaola says. For example, she is very proud of the Center’s ultra-air purification system. It removes viruses, bacteria and chemical particulates. Environment and atmosphere can impact a patient’s endocrine system and ultimately affect their success at becoming pregnant, she says.

Getting pregnant doesn’t always require cutting-edge technology, she says. Sometimes, it requires a more subtle touch such as proper counseling about diet and exercise. Sometimes, it’s just about timing.

“Fertility is not the kind of medicine where you take two tablets and follow up with a doc in a couple of weeks,” Dr. DiPaola says. “Among other things, treatments have to be timed to a woman’s menstrual cycle.”

Dr. DiPaola has been with the practice for more than seven years and has served more than three years as its director.

- Brian L. Meyers


 

 

Kevin Shumrick, M.D. F.A.C.S.
Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery • Group Health Associates, TriHealth

Plastic surgery is commonly thought of as cosmetic in nature, however, it is often used for patients who have suffered trauma, other injuries or skin cancers that have left them with facial deformities and are in need of reconstructive surgery, says Dr. Kevin Shumrick.

These are people who just want to get back to looking normal.

Dr. Shumrick—who specializes in ear, nose and throat disorders and facial plastic surgery—says, “Probably my biggest focus is reconstructive surgery after skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, after all.”

Sometimes, people ignore symptoms of skin cancer or they are misdiagnosed until removing the malignancy requires reconstructive surgery to restore a person’s appearance.

“What’s happened in the past,” Dr. Shumrick says, “We can’t change that, but we can make you better than you are now. We can get you back to normal.”

Dr. Shumrick also conducts nasal surgeries for deviated septum, cosmetic rhinoplasty and facelifts to improve a person’s appearance.

Dr. Shumrick completed fellowships in head and neck oncology at the University of Cincinnati and facial plastics at the University of Texas. He is a former full professor of otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati and director of Facial Plastics. He has been in private practice with Group Health for more than seven years.

- Brian L. Meyers