Top Docs

If you or a loved one required medical treatment, which physician would you choose?

That’s the question dsm posed in a recent survey to about 1,330 Greater Des Moines physicians in an effort to identify some of the area’s most highly regarded doctors. In the lists on pages 138-140, you’ll see the names of physicians their peers voted to be among the best in seven specialties: cardiovascular disease, general internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery and otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat). We limited the survey to seven
specialties to keep it manageable; if we repeat it in future years, we’ll include other specialties. (See the complete explanation of the survey’s methodology, right.)

If you don’t see your physician’s name on the list, does that mean he or she isn’t outstanding? Certainly not. We understand that this kind of survey has limitations. Although the number of responses we received made the poll statistically valid, the survey is still subjective, reflecting the individual opinions of the doctors who chose to participate. Also, we acknowledge that it takes a strong team—including support staff, nurses and other doctors—to deliver high-quality health care and that some physicians are uneasy about being signaled out for an honor like this.

Nonetheless, we’re confident the survey’s results reveal some of the metro area’s first-rate physicians, who help deliver a stellar level of health care that benefits our entire community.

Below are the top physicians, by specialty. The doctor who received the most votes in each specialty is listed first; for two specialties—cardiovascular disease and obstetrics/gynecology—there was a tie. Other physicians in each category who were among the top vote getters are listed in alphabetical order. Physicians are listed with the practice they were associated with when the survey was taken.

Cardiovascular Disease

A tie:

Amar Nath, M.D.
UnityPoint Health/Cardiology at Penn Avenue


William Wickemeyer, M.D.
Iowa Heart Center

Michael Fraizer, M.D.
Iowa Heart Center

Joel From, M.D.
Iowa Heart Center

Jonathan Fudge, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

David Laughrun, M.D.
Iowa Heart Center

James Lovell, D.O.
The Iowa Clinic

Pamela Nerheim, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

General Surgery

Gerald Baker, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Susan Beck, D.O.
Frederick and Ann Katzmann
Breast Center

Scott Hamling, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Daniel Kollmorgen, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Willie McClairen, M.D.
General Surgery Physicians

Michael Mohan, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Dennis Whitmer, D.O.
Mercy Surgical Affiliates

General Internal Medicine

Jeffrey DeFrancisco, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Daniel Allen, M.D.
UnityPoint Health, Internal Medicine at Lakeview

Jose Angel, M.D.
Mercy Jordan Creek Internal Medicine Clinic

Kevin Cunningham, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Sean Cunningham, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

John Heffernan, M.D.
UnityPoint Health, Internal Medicine at Penn Avenue

Eric Holm, M.D.
UnityPoint Health, Methodist Plaza Internal Medicine

Carol Horner, D.O.
Mercy Capitol Internal Medicine Clinic


A tie:

Enrique Bedia, M.D.
UnityPoint Health, OB/GYN at Lakeview


Dennis Dornbier, D.O.
Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates

Amy Bingaman, M.D.
UnityPoint Health, OB/GYN at Methodist Plaza

Steven Keller, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Gregg Polzin, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic


George Clavenna, D.O.
Des Moines University

Elizabeth Brown, M.D.
Physicians Eye Clinic

Syed Husain, M.D.
Associated Ophthalmologists

Eugene Sarno, M.D.
Des Moines Eye Surgeons

Donny Suh, M.D.
Wolfe Eye Clinic

Orthopaedic Surgery

Stephen Taylor, M.D.
Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons

Jeffrey Davick, M.D.
Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons

Kyle Galles, M.D.
Iowa Orthopaedic Center

Devon Goetz, M.D.
Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons

Craig Mahoney, M.D.
Iowa Orthopaedic Center

Matthew Weresh, M.D.
Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons

Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)

Richard Rinehart, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Marshall Greiman, M.D.
Mercy Ear Nose & Throat Clinic

Steven Herwig, D.O.
The Iowa Clinic

Corey Mineck, M.D.
Mercy Ear Nose & Throat Clinic

Douglas Schulte, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

Timothy Simplot, M.D.
Iowa ENT Center

Mark Zlab, M.D.
The Iowa Clinic

How the Top Docs Were Chosen
The Top Docs survey was conducted by polling actively practicing physicians in Greater Des Moines. The doctors were asked:

If you or a loved one required medical treatment, which physician would you choose?

A ballot listing doctors in seven medical specialties was mailed to the business addresses of 1,133 physicians in Altoona, Ankeny, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. The physicians were asked to vote for one person in each of the specialty categories in which they felt they had sufficient knowledge to make a fair selection. The ballots were returned to Business Publications Corp. Inc., dsm’s parent company, for tabulation. The number of responses was statistically valid.

The Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs (OSCEP) at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine compiled the list of physicians and their specialties. It was derived from OSCEP’s inventory of more than 5,600 physicians actively practicing in Iowa. That roster is updated continuously and re-verified every six months with a personal call to each physician or a representative of his or her office.

While some physicians identify themselves as specialists in a given discipline, others don’t identify themselves as specialists even though they have extensive training and experience in that discipline; therefore, they may not have been listed on the ballot with their specialty. Likewise, some physicians may identify themselves as practicing in a given discipline—for example, obstetrics/gynecology or general surgery—though they may actually solely focus on a subspecialty, such as reproductive endocrinology or pediatric surgery.

The survey was conducted by the editorial department of Business Publications Corp. Inc. with assistance from support staff. The advertising department was not consulted prior to the survey and had no involvement in the process. Any advertising purchased by physicians was done after the final survey was completed and had no influence on the outcome.

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