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FOR THIS YEAR’S Top Doctors cover story, we decided to shake things up a bit through the simple process of addition. More specifically, we expanded our list of categories by eight, for a total of 21. For the first time ever, you’ll find winners in the specialties of anesthesiology, endocrinology, pediatrics, plastic/reconstructive surgery, podiatry, adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and rheumatology.

We didn’t come by these changes on a whim. Rather, it was in response to a wealth of constructive feedback from local health systems and the doctors themselves. The result, we hope, is a more thorough and well-rounded resource for those seeking superior healthcare options in the western suburbs. As always, we welcome your suggestions as we begin planning for next year’s Top Doctors directory.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: After last year’s snow, the 2011 Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a “kinder and gentler” winter this year. For skiers and boarders, this might not seem like such good news. For the rest of us, MLT travel editor Marilyn Odesser-Torpey has road-tested four drivable getaways—in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia—where winter fun doesn’t have to revolve around the white stuff (“Snow Optional”). A much-published expert on regional travel, Odesser-Torpey is finishing her Insiders’ Guide to Philadelphia & Pennsylvania Dutch Country, which is due in the spring. Her Quick Escapes from Philadelphia: The Best Weekend Getaways came out in July. When it comes to finding those hidden gems that often go unnoticed by untrained eyes, she’s second to none. And be sure to check out her “thrifty tips” for the destinations in this month’s story.

You may have heard about the shocking incident in Tennessee this past October, when local firefighters let a house burn to the ground because the family hadn’t paid a $75 fire-service subscription fee. While an extreme case, it does make you wonder: What would happen if our local fire and ambulance companies ran out of money? As MLT contributor Jim Waltzer discovered in his research for “The Price of Rescue,” such a frightening prospect is not that far-fetched. If anything, his eye-opening look at some daunting financial challenges will make you think twice about shredding those donation letters.

MOVING ON: Food & Drink editor Dawn E. Warden is leaving her post at MLT to focus on her new public relations venture. Appropriately enough, in this month’s Epicure section, Warden offers a fresh take on perhaps the most acclaimed restaurant in the area, Gilmore’s in West Chester. Talk about a great way to go out.
 

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