The number of Keck Medical Center of USC physicians included in an annual ranking of top doctors in the San Gabriel Valley grew in 2014.

Pasadena Magazine included 505 USC physicians in its current roster of notable physicians in the San Gabriel Valley, up from 345 last year and 273 in 2012. The doctors come from more than 40 specialties including radiology, oncology, otolaryngology, neurology, cardiology and urology.

Vaughn Starnes, chair of the Department of Surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC and the executive director of the USC CardioVascular Thoracic Institute, graced the cover of the magazine and gave Pasadena Magazine an interview in which he shared his thoughts about his career, the future of health care and operating on Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One concern Starnes shared about the future of health care had to do with the education of future doctors. Young doctors are graduating with more debt than ever, he pointed out. At the same time, the current environment is putting pressure on doctors to deliver health are inexpensively.

The list includes 382 faculty physicians from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, 137 of whom practice at either Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or LAC+USC Medical Center. In addition, 123 doctors, from USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, including 11 Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty members, were also recognized, representing specialties such as orthopaedic surgery, pulmonology and general surgery.

“This list commends our outstanding faculty physicians for their achievements in their research and in treating their patients,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Our doctors are committed to serving this community and it is wonderful to see their dedication recognized.”

To be considered for inclusion in the list, physicians in the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles area were nominated and then voted on

by their peers, who submitted confidential ballots. Doctors cannot pay to be included on the list.

Pasadena Magazine has published its list of top doctors in the San Gabriel Valley since June of 2008.

— By Hope Hamashige