Eight New York City area hospitals have been named among the best in the country according to U.S. News and World Report, a partner in the CBS 2 Information Network.
For the seventh time, New York City's Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital has been named the best cancer center in the country.
With more than 400 doctors, dozens of high-tech labs, and a budget just shy of $1 billion, the focus here is on delivering cutting-edge medicine.
"One of the things that makes Memorial Sloan Kettering number 1 is our unique ability to have a very rich environment in basic science in our laboratory activity, then bring those discoveries to the bedside," says medical oncologist Dr. David Spriggs.
One way of doing that is to enroll patients in clinical trials and provide experimental medicines, usually as a last resort.
Dr. Spriggs says the goal, using human genotyping, stem cell research, and other advances, is to produce a new class of drugs like Gleevac and C-225, which more specifically target cancers with fewer side effects.
"We're moving to a time when the drugs will be much more tailored to specific patients' needs and we will have cocktails of medicine that will specifically address the characteristics of that individuals cancer," he explains.
Right across the street from Sloan Kettering is New York Presbyterian Hospital, affiliated with the prestigious medical schools at Columbia and Cornell.
It's named by U.S. News as the 13th best hospital overall in the country. Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is ranked number 1, followed by Minnesota's Mayo Clinic at number 2, Boston's Massachusetts General at number 3, and Cleveland Clinic at number 4.
The survey scored New York Presbyterian in the top 50. It's not the first time they've made the list.
CEO Dr. Herbert Pardes attributes the winning track record to attracting the best doctors and putting patients first.
"I want the care to be given in such a way that it is sensitive to you and your family--that people feel welcome and understood, and that's not easy," he says.
The hospital ranks number 4 nationally in neurology. Neurologist John Corona showed CBS 2s Paul Moniz brain scans of a young stroke victim, initially treated at another center, but who is on the mend after aggressive treatment here.
"Shes stabilized now and I hope that when times goes by and she doesn't have a stroke, she'll be more confident about the future," Dr. Corona says.
In addition to New York Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering, six other hospitals in our area are recognized by U.S. News.
Mount Sinai Medical Center made the cut in six categories, including geriatric care, where it ranks number 3 in the country.
New York University Medical Center scored in three specialties, including the seventh best for rehabilitation.
Both the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Hospita for Joint Diseases were recognized for orthopedics and rheumatology.
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary was also listed twice, ranking 12th for eye care and 49th for ear, nose, and throat.
On Long Island, North Shore University Hospital came in at 38 in the field of urology.
Experts stress these rankings should be used as one tool in choosing the right hospital, not the deciding factor. There are plenty of hospitals not listed that provide quality care, but almost everyone agrees that when you have a serious illness, getting a second or even third opinion from specialists is the wisest move.
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