Thursday, July 14, 2005

Claudia Cote, M.D., Selected as one of America’s Best Doctors

Claudia Cote, M.D., Selected as one of America’s Best Doctors

On June 29, 2005, research organization Best Doctors Inc selected pulmonologist Claudia Cote, M.D. as one of America’s best doctors. Dr. Cote is a critical care physician at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bay Pines, Florida, a suburb of St. Petersburg.

As a veteran and a patient at the medical center, I have been receiving excellent clinical care for emphysema from Dr. Claudia Cote for more than 4 years. During that time I participated in a research program she conducted at Bay Pines that resulted in the release of an excellent new inhalant, tiotroprium bromide, that dilates bronchia and fights against lung infection. Dr. Cote’s care, follow-up, medications, and rehabilitation programs have enormously improved my quality of life and sense of well-being while reducing the dangers to my health of lung infections and inordinate worsening of my condition. In my opinion, she is an excellent physician, researcher, and clinician who deserves the respect and support of her colleagues and seniors.

Dr. Cote is as impeccably professional as she is caring and friendly. Her research projects have brought in over $1 million revenue to the medical center and helped thousands of veterans with pulmonary lung disease to get desperately needed high-quality relief. When any emergency arises, she gives prompt attention to resolve the problem. I have never knowm her to compromise ethical standards while giving veterans top priority.

Dr. Cote is well-educated, has published numerous papers on the findings of her research, and has significant breadth and depth of clinical experience, including emergency room medicine. She is well-qualified to be Chief of Medicine and Chief of Staff in the nation's top medical facilities. She has established a state-of-the-art rehabilitation program for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, ably coordinated by Eric Kalbfell, RRT (see July 2004 HealthPower article "Bay Pines VAMC Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program", According to patients who complete the program, results are excellent to the point of being "alarming."

Dr. Cote has been acknowledged for her professionalism by the St. Petersburg Times (

  • On 6 March 2004, Times reporter Paul de la Garza wrote of an incident in which one of Dr. Cote's seniors ordered her to sign an expired veteran's death certificate without first performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death, and Dr. Cote risked career problems by proceeding to get permission to do the autopsy anyway.
  • Dr. Cote's dedication has continued unabated in spite of a workload and political pressures that have threatened her health and her career (See article by Paul de la Garza on 5 March 2005).

In 2004 Dr. Cote published a study with fellow researcher Dr. Bartolome Celli that documented methods of improving treatment of lung disease ( Details were published in the online edition of Postgraduate Medicine ( - Cote CG, Celli BR. New treatment strategies for COPD: pairing the new with the tried and true. Postgrad Med 2005;117(3):27-34).

I am not the only one to recognize Dr. Claudia Cote as a “Pearl of Great Price” among her peers. Dr. Cote's professional competence and devotion to outstanding patient care have also impressed her colleagues. It was at the behest of her peers that Best Doctors, Inc., selected Dr. Cote, as one of the best doctors in America for 2005-2006.

The Best Doctors database consists of the top 5% of the nation's doctors, all of whom were selected nominated by peer review. According to Lucy Stec, Director of Research and Polling, Dr. Cote is one of only 378 new Best Doctors in the Tampa Bay area. Only physicians who are licensed, board-certified, and free of professional misconduct are allowed to be Best Doctors.

Best Doctors, Inc, has been publishing its Best Doctors list for individuals, corporations, and insurance companies since 1992, and adds new doctors every 18 months. For more details call 800-675-1100 or visit

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I worked closely with Dr. Cote at at Bay Pines, She was the finest Dr I have ever known. Dr. Cote died 3 months ago and all of us who knew and loved her still miss her. What a loss to the world. She was the very best