Hollywood's Top Doctors: Best Otolaryngologists in Los Angeles

The top M.D.s as vetted by leading medical-database authority Castle Connolly

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Hollywood is a town obsessed with its health — and its vanity. So it’s no surprise that everyone has an opinion on who the best doctors in Los Angeles are, from who can keep aging at bay for those all-important close-ups to whom to count on to cure life-threatening illnesses.

To identify the 484 elite physicians who qualified for The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list of the top docs in L.A., THR’s editors went two routes. First, THR partnered with the physician-led research team of Castle Connolly, the U.S.' preeminent medical-database authority, to identify the highest-rated practitioners in their specialties, all of whom are nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of U.S. doctors each year. Castle Connolly screens these doctors’ medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories and much more. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included.

THR then went further and surveyed 800 professionals in the film, television, movie and media fields to find out who among these doctors are the most beloved, trusted and go-to physicians in L.A. These 43 industry favorites include Morgan Freeman's holistic internist Dr. Soram Khalsa, Dr. Mehmet Oz's gastroenterologist Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Naomi Watts' NYC dermatologist David Colbert, KISS' Paul Stanley's ear, nose and throat doctor Joe Sugerman, Steve Tisch's favorite neurosurgeon and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the orthopedist who healed Charlize Theron's herniated disc and Dr. Robert Kay, the surgeon who fixed Starz CEO Chris Albrecht's daughter Tess after a car accident.

More From THR's Top Doctors Issue:

Hollywood's Top Doctors Revealed: Exclusive Survey

See The Doctors With Their Famous Patients

Hollywood's Vaccine Wars: L.A.'s "Entitled" Westsiders Behind City's Epidemic

Hollywood's Biggest Anti-Vaccine Proponents

Hollywood Vaccination Fail: Why L.A. Schoolkids Are Getting Sick

How to Live Forever: The (Mad?) Science Hollywood Is Using to "Cure" Death

"I'm Going to Live Forever": Hollywood Elders' Best Quotes About Aging

Is Working in Hollywood Bad for Your Health?

L.A.'s Emergency Rooms, Rated

Meet the Real-Life McDreamy: The Doctor Behind 'Grey's Anatomy'

Ear, Nose & Throat

Gerald S. Berke
UCLA Health System
924 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles 90024
310-794-8634

Keith Edward Blackwell
UCLA Health System
200 UCLA Medical Plaza
Los Angeles 90095
310-206-6688

Derald E. Brackmann
House Ear Clinic
2100 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles 90057
213-483-9930
Also: St. Vincent's

Jason Diamond
Diamond Institute
9400 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills 90210
310-859-9816

Andrew Samuel Frankel
Lasky Clinic
201 S. Lasky Drive
Beverly Hills 90212
310-552-2173
Also: LAC & USC Medical Center

INDUSTRY FAVORITE

Rick A. Friedman
Otology, neurotology, skull base surgery
Keck Medicine of USC
1520 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles 90033
323-442-5790

He grew up in show business -- his brother, Rob, is co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group -- but decided to become an ear specialist while attending medical school at UC San Diego, where he witnessed an elderly man whose hearing was restored. "I remember the guy sat up in bed and started crying. That you could fix somebody's hearing so fast got me interested in ear surgery," says Dr. Friedman, who since has treated more than 1,000 cases of acoustic neuroma -- a benign brain tumor that can cause deafness, vertigo and facial paralysis -- including on Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC. "We took a tumor out and saved her hearing and her beautiful face." Friedman has treated some of his heroes, including a pop legend who suddenly lost hearing in one ear. "This is a lady I've adored my whole life. I remember telling her I had to poke a hole in her eardrum and fill it with a steroid, and we were laughing that this was not the way I'd anticipated meeting her for the first time." Friedman remains in awe of the human ear -- "It's an incredible structure, and it gives you all this joy" -- and laments that people expose their hearing to dangerous sound levels, including the vogue for chest-shaking volume in movie theaters. "I've talked to my brother about it," says Friedman, to no avail. "It sells."

Shawn Nasseri
435 N. Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills 90210
310-289-8200
Also: Cedars-Sinai

John K. Niparko
Keck Medicine of USC
1450 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles 90033
323-442-5790

Dale H. Rice
Keck Medicine of USC
1520 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles 90033
323-442-5790

INDUSTRY FAVORITE

Randy Schnitman
435 N. Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills 90210
310-275-5432
Also: Cedars-Sinai

The walls of Dr. Schnitman's office are crowded with 8x10s -- and a platinum album or two. His grateful patients include Sheryl Crow, Jack Black, Ozzy Osbourne, members of Sugar Ray, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and others whose ravaged vocal cords he has restored. (He also has ministered to Jane Fonda on the set of Veep and David O. Russell during the fractious I Heart Huckabees shoot. ) "Dr.Schnitman has saved my ass many a time," recalls Black. "I had lost my voice at the end of a grueling tour with one concert left to perform at the Wiltern Theatre. Rather than cancel the show, I went to Randy's office, and he had me singing like an angel that very same night." Black was given injections of antibiotics and steroids to reduce the inflammation due to a chest cold, though Schnitman stresses he administers steroids infrequently and cautiously: "In Jack's particular case, it was reasonably safe to proceed with the performance."

Uttam K. Sinha
Keck Medicine of USC
1520 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles 90033
323-442-5790

Joseph H. Sugerman
435 N. Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills 90210
310-274-6005
Also: Cedars-Sinai

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is a healthcare research and information company founded in 1991 by a former medical college board chairman and president to help guide consumers to America's top doctors and top hospitals. Castle Connolly's established survey and research process, under the direction of an MD, involves many tens of thousands of physicians as well as academic medical centers, specialty hospitals and regional and community hospitals all across the nation. leadership of leading hospitals.

Castle Connolly's physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels. Its online nominations process — located at www.castleconnolly.com/nominations — is open to all licensed physicians in America who are able to nominate physicians in any medical specialty and in any part of the country, as well as indicate whether the nominated physicians is, in their opinion, among the best in their region in their medical specialty or among the best in the nation in their medical specialty. Careful screening of doctors' educational and professional experience is essential before final selection is made among those physicians most highly regarded by their peers. The result - we identify the top doctors in America and provide you, the consumer, with detailed information about their education, training and special expertise in our paperback guides, national and regional magazine “Top Doctors” features and online directories.

Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled as Castle Connolly Top Doctors

Physicians selected for inclusion in this magazine's "Top Doctors" feature may also appear as Regional Top Doctors online at www.castleconnolly.com, or in one of Castle Connolly's Top Doctors™ guides, such as America's Top Doctors® or America's Top Doctors® for Cancer.

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