One of our editors recently questioned why we did not factor in local health care with our rankings of communities in our annual "Rating the Burbs" issue. Outside of schools and crime, he asked, what could mean more in rating a community than knowing the proximity of quality medical services in times of need?

We thought it was a good question. We mulled over why we had not delved more into what's happening with our local hospitals and physicians. After a quick look around we saw "” as surely you have "” the recent vibrant hospital activity. The Tristate has truly become one of the best areas in the nation when it comes to quality medical services, from some of the most routine to the cutting edge. Shining a spotlight on these developments for you, our readers, was too interesting to pass up. In this issue we investigate some local health trends you may or may not know about, and how those changes are driving our communities and economy forward.

After starting our research, we also realized there isn't a list of local top doctors that is gathered and analyzed by a credible, independent, nationally recognized entity. We figured that you, as a business professional, would appreciate this kind of reference resource. Cincy magazine decided to partner with Best Doctors in America Inc., based in Asheville, N.C. The result from the Best Doctors' database is a list of more than 400 top physicians in our region, sorted by their specialties, as nominated by their peers.

I would like to credit Greg Loomis, our editor, for his efforts with this project and in developing for Cincy magazine an exclusive arrangement within the Tristate with Best Doctors in America. The editorial team saw this undertaking as one that shouldn't be done on our own, and they are more comfortable with the kind of expertise, checks and balances, and transparency that only organizations like Best Doctors in America can provide. We realize how choosing a physician can be such an important decision. We understand how there are many ways to evaluate a doctor, and we certainly recognize there are many more physicians in our communities who excel. We intend to tell you more about them in the Health section of upcoming issues of Cincy.

We hope that you find the "Best Docs" and healthcare features in this edition interesting and informative. We think that we may just be starting to scratch the surface of the engaging, informative healthcare topics we could cover, so we want to hear from you.

In other words, give us your second opinion.