Quality of life is a function of many complex factors, but health care is certainly among the most important. Baltimore is unusually fortunate in this regard -- the health care industry is not only the largest employer in the region, but the area's medical facilities have always been considered outstanding as well.
That conclusion was reconfirmed this week by a survey published in "U.S. News & World Report," which ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital as the best hospital, overall, in the nation.
The study, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, was particularly significant because physicians themselves, rather than bureaucrats, served as the evaluators. Nearly 1,000 doctors, specializing in 15 areas of medicine -- from AIDS and cancer treatment to neurology, cardiology, opthalmology and psychiatry -- were asked to list the five leading hospitals in their specialties. Hopkins emerged among the best in 13 of the 15 areas -- making it No. 1 in the nation, all told.