Top Doc

Selecting the doctor who is right for you is a personal decision, but getting input from people in the community you respect is an important component of the decision making process. Therefore, we asked all the physicians associated with our county's two hospitals, Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Memorial Center (formerly North Arundel General Hospital) this question: "If you or a loved one needed to see a medical or surgical specialist in the area, whom would you choose?"

Each survey was mailed individually, with a self addressed stamped envelope, to ensure that we received only one response per physician.

The response to our 1500-doctor survey was remarkable. We commend all the area physicians who took time out of their busy schedules to fill out our survey and mail it back to us. What we are publishing on the following pages are the results of our doctor survey.

Please note many fine physicians who are new to the community or who are affiliated with other medical institutions may not be on this list.

The highest numbers of responses we received were in the specialty categories. Mainstream practices such as general practitioner, internal medicine, and Ob-Gyn received far fewer responses than categories such as infectious diseases. As one of the "Top Docs" explained, "Doctors are notorious for treating themselves," which explains the higher response rate in the specialty categories.

Choosing a doctor should be a multi-step process; to help you make a thoughtful decision we are publishing not one but two stories on that subject. The Top Docs list should only be used as a resource in helping you make informed decisions. If you are happy with your current doctors, maintain your relationships.

Dr. Lyle Modlin treats people from all "walks" of life. "Whether they are 6 weeks old or 95 years old, CEOs or indigent patients, I treat them like family.

"In Washington, you can do bad work and get lost. If you do bad work in Annapolis, it's a small town and word travels fast."

Making sure patients can do fancy footwork is part of his DNA; his father and uncle were both podiatrists.

"The thing that makes medicine neat is the people. I love solving a problem and treating it," he grins. "I love the interaction with the other people in the office and the patients who come here."

A lifelong resident of Maryland, he and his wife, Jo Ann, a commercial real estate agent, have three children: Amy 20, at Drexel; Adam, 17 attending the University of Pittsburgh; and 13-year old Sara at Severn High School. The family lives in Annapolis.

He sees a lot of foot problems that could have been prevented. Boat shoes provide no support and some wearers suffer painful fallen arches as a result. "Statement" sneakers, like Pumas, which he considers a "beautiful, neat-looking shoe hot among college and high school students," are just plain bad for feet.

His practice is known, he says, for the people who limp in and walk out. He enjoys his new location on the ground floor of a strip mall building at the convergence of Chinquapin Round Road and Forest Drive. "The parking is good and it's easy for people from Annapolis, Bowie, and the Eastern Shore to get here."

He's also a fine semiprofessional photographer. He's traveled the world to take photos. Landscapes, landmarks, still-lifes, and portraits are all subjects for his lens. He schools with a Nikon N70 and does his own developing, printing, framing, and dry mounting.

To the delight of his patients, Dr. Modlin has turned his suite of offices into an art gallery: his black-and-white and color photographs adorn every wall.

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