Top Doctor Profiles 2023
Eight of this year's 548 Top Doctors share an anecdote that helps motivate them to continue practicing medicine at the highest level
For the 2023 Top Doctors Poll, we selected national research firm Castle Connolly to conduct the survey process. We asked eight of this year’s 548 Top Doctors to share a quotation, goal or anecdote that helps motivate or inspire them to continue practicing medicine at the highest level.
James T. Noble, M.D.
Infectious Disease • Concord Hospital
Concord, (603) 225–2711
“When I was four years old, I wanted to be a steam locomotive engineer. By first grade, that changed to a fireman. But my dad was a doctor. By fourth grade, my sights were set on doing this wonderful and complicated profession that I knew almost nothing about.
I took the ‘right classes’ in high school and worked part-time in my dad’s hospital. All through college and medical school, most people presumed that, like him, I would be a cardiologist.
But, in high school I read Paul de Kruif’s ‘Microbe Hunters.’ My imagination was captured by the stories of the doctors who discovered the cause of yellow fever, the vaccine that saved the lives of rabies victims and many others.
During my residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I was a witness to many discoveries about the life-saving potential of correct antibiotic choices. When given the opportunity to train in infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, I, of course, took it. As a result of convergence of the AIDS pandemic and the end of my formal training in 1982, the course of my next 20 years was set. Practicing in Dorchester, Massachusetts, acting as clinical director of the first comprehensive New York State AIDS treatment unit at Stony Brook and then spending 14 years back at Tufts as an AIDS clinician, team leader and teacher was everything I had dreamed my chosen specialty would be.
Still, remember when I was four? I spent every summer with my nuclear and extended family in New Hampshire. I had thought of settling here at every transition in my life. When Concord Hospital offered me a job in 2002, I accepted without a second thought.
From 2002 to 2019, my exciting and rewarding infectious disease practice in Concord saw me caring for a diverse group of patients, helping a wonderful group of colleagues care for their patients with infections and making a home where I always wanted to be.
But pandemics weren’t done with me yet. I was called to our emergency department in January 2020 to see a young woman with a cough who had just returned fromWuhan, China. The next two and a half years seem like a blur. The strains placed on the system, and especially on the people working at the bedside, will be felt for years to come.
The past three years of COVID have more than affirmed the choice I made so many years ago.”
Dr. Meghna V. Misra, M.S., F.A.C.S.
Pediatric Surgery • Elliot Hospital
Manchester, (603) 663-8393
“It is a privilege to help improve children’s health and to make long-standing relationships with families. Children are amazingly resilient, and we find ways to make each other laugh. I truly enjoy caring for these young patients.
Pediatric surgery is humbling and constantly changing. After being in practice for over nine years, I continue to learn innovative techniques and new practices to minimize pain and perform procedures with less invasive methods.
The Nuss procedure is one of the procedures I perform at The Elliot. This is an operation to correct pectus excavatum — a condition in which the sternum of the chest is caved in. Patients have traditionally experienced a lot of pain after this operation. In 2018, The Elliot was the first hospital in New Hampshire to start using cryoanalgesia to care for patients. Cryoanalgesia temporarily numbs nerves in the chest to reduce pain and significantly reduce the use of narcotics. In 2022, I began offering cryoanalgesia to our pediatric patients who undergo the Nuss procedure. Seeing our patients feel better after surgery and able to return to their playful selves sooner has been exceptionally rewarding, and one of the many reasons I chose this specialty.
I am grateful to be part of a team that continues to be transformative in pediatric surgery. I work with a wonderful group of pediatric specialists at The Elliot — pediatric surgeons, pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric hospitalists, neonatologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, just to name a few — and we all have a common goal to provide the best possible care to families throughout our community. It really is a special group of people with great chemistry working together to provide a high level of care for generations of patients, and for those yet to come.”
Adrian J. Thomas, M.D.
Orthopaedic Surgery • Elliot Hospital / New Hampshire NeuroSpine Institute
Bedford, (603) 472-8888
“When I finished medical school in 2004, health care was easy. Treating patients was a one-on-one business where patients and doctors got to know each other. The relationship was personal and treatments plans were a collaborative effort. We were in it together fighting for the same cause.
In 2023, health care is hard. Insurance companies getting in between patients and doctors have made it hard. Increasing cost of insurance and the services it supposedly provides have made it hard. Skyrocketing prescription drug costs have made it hard.
All of these, along with many other hurdles, have made health care harder for both doctors and patients.
What keeps me practicing is trying to figure out how to make practicing medicine easy again. Every doctor on this list works hard every single day trying to recreate the doctor-patient relationship that once was the pillar of our profession. This list is a tribute to doctors who, despite all the obstacles in their way, are running through the 2023 health care gauntlet to put patients first. So if you ask what keeps me practicing medicine, I’d tell you it’s the drive to go into battle for my patients and get them the care they deserve.”
Jennifer M. Lewis, M.D.
Gastroenterology • Wentworth-Douglass Hospital / Atlantic Digestive Specialists
Somersworth, (603) 692-2228
“I am pleased to be a part of the New Hampshire medical community and feel especially fortunate to have joined a practice of GI physicians at Atlantic Digestive Specialists, who set the standard for excellent gastroenterological care. My interest in gastroenterology was kindled when I was in medical school. I was fascinated by the pathology seen during endoscopy and knew then that I wanted to dedicate my life to this discipline. I enjoy helping people understand their gastroenterological issues and finding the best solution for them.”
Heather C. Killie, M.D.
Orthopaedic Surgery • Catholic Medical Center / Southern New Hampshire Medical Center / New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center
Nashua, (603) 883-0091
“With only 7.4 percent of orthopedic surgeons being female, there have been hurdles to maneuver throughout my career. Being a partner at the New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center (NHOC) has not been one of them. Being voted as a top doctor in New Hampshire is an honor. My approach to medicine is to treat people how I would want myself and my family to be treated. The best compliments I hear from my patients are, ‘I wish you could be my primary care doctor,’ and, ‘You inspired me to be a doctor.’ I will continue to strive to be the best doctor and surgeon I can be for this great state.”
Khosro Farhad, M.D.
Neurology • Wentworth-Douglass Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital / Wentworth Health Partners / Coastal Neurology Services
Dover, (603) 749-0913
“I am a neurologist with subspecialty training, board certification and expertise in treating patients with peripheral neuropathy and autonomic disorders. I work at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (WDH) and also Massachusetts General Hospital. I have established the peripheral neuropathy and autonomic disorder center at WDH and provide testing for diagnosis of these patients with nerve conduction studies, electromyography, skin biopsy for confirmation of the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy and performing autonomic function testing to evaluate patients for autonomic disorders. I am motivated to treat patients with these disorders because there are not many colleagues in the field of neurology treating these patients. I have tried to enhance the knowledge about this underserved field of neurology among providers in the New England area and nationally through different medical education conferences and lectures. In addition to providing clinical care for these patients, I also participate in research in this area as a faculty of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. My goal is to improve the quality of life for these patients and help to prevent long-term disability.”
Rebecca E. Pschirrer, M.D., M.P.H.
Maternal & Fetal Medicine • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, (603) 653-9306
“Many years ago, when I was a medical student at Dartmouth Medical School, now Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, I knew I wanted to practice at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center when I finished my training. Being able to work at an academic medical center, with medical students, residents, fellows, researchers and brilliant colleagues, is a gift. Doing so in the beautiful state in which we live is the icing on the cake.”
Stephan Heo, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.
Interventional Cardiology • Catholic Medical Center / New England Heart & Vascular Institute
Manchester, (603) 669-0413
“Having trained with some of the best in the world at Brown University in three specialties — endovascular peripheral arterial disease, structural heart and complex/high-risk coronary disease — I feel very fortunate to have the skills and expertise to help patients who are seriously ill. Working at CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute, I have the privilege to practice all three of these specialties at the highest level with the latest technologies. It is humbling to know I can make a difference in the lives of patients.”