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SIU Faculty Physicians Named “Best Doctors”

September 8, 2015

Twenty faculty physicians at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine are included in Best Doctors® in America 2015 database. Best Doctors includes more than 45,000 U.S. physicians, chosen by peer review and representing the top five percent of physicians in more than 40 medical specialties. 

The SIU physicians, all members of SIU HealthCare or SIU Center for Family Medicine, are:

Beau J. Batton, MD, associate professor and division chief of pediatric neonatology;

Carol Bauer, MD, professor and division chair of otolaryngology;

Lucinda S. Buescher, MD, professor, division chief of dermatology and dermatology residency program director;

Robert A. Buzzell, MD, assistant professor of dermatology and director of the Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery;

Jeffrey Cozzens, MD, professor and division chief of neurosurgery;

Ginger Darling, MD, assistant professor of neonatology;

Wendi El-Amin, MD, associate professor of family and community medicine;

Rodger J. Elble, MD, professor of neurology;

James M. Gilchrist, MD, professor and department chair of neurology;

Stephen Hazelrigg, MD, professor and division chief of cardiothoracic surgery;

J. Ricardo Loret de Mola, MD, professor and department chair of obstetrics and gynecology;

John Donald Mellinger, MD, professor and division chair of general surgery;

Michael Neumeister, MD, professor, department chair of surgery and division chair of plastic surgery;

Daniel Niebrugge, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics;

Jan Rakinic, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery and director of colorectal surgery;

Leonard Rybak, MD, PhD, professor of surgery;

Bradley F. Schwartz, DO, FACS, professor of urology;

David E. Steward, MD, professor of internal medicine and associate dean of community health and 

Stephen P. Stone, MD, professor of dermatology and director of clinical research;

Casey Younkin, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology.


SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. The School has more than 280 full-time physicians as well as other medical professionals, offering both primary care and specialized treatment services. The medical school works in partnership with hospitals and clinics throughout Illinois. Clinical outreach efforts extend SIU’s involvement to 50 Illinois communities.  For information, call SIU’s Call Center, 217-545-8000 or 1-800-342-5748 or visit