HEALTHY LIVING
07/15/2014 07:06 am ET | Updated Jul 15, 2014

America's Best Hospital Is...

VILevi via Getty Images

Some hospitals are more expert than others in caring for patients with life-threatening or rare conditions. And people facing such health challenges need every bit of help they can get. That's why U.S. News & World Report has published annual rankings of the nation's Best Hospitals for the last quarter-century.

[See the Complete Rankings: Best Hospitals 2014-15.]

The 2014-15 rankings cover nearly 5,000 medical centers across the country and span 16 medical specialties from cancer to urology. Hospitals with very high scores in at least six specialties earned a spot on the Honor Roll. Just 17 hospitals made this year's list.

[See Pictures of the 17 Honor Roll Hospitals.]

For the first time, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, claimed the No. 1 Honor Roll spot, barely edging out Massachusetts General Hospital. Johns Hopkins Hospital, which in 2012 lost a 21-year first-place reign, was No. 3.

The 2014-15 Honor Roll:

  • 17. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University
    Courtesy of Barnes Jewish Hospital/Washington University
    Location: St. LouisHonor Roll Points: 9 Highest rankings: Pulmonology (#9), Nephrology (#11), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#11), Urology (#11), Ophthalmology (#12). Honor Roll rank last year: 15 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 16. Mount Sinai Hospital
    http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/ny/mount-sinai-medical-center-6213140
    Location: New YorkHonor Roll Points: 10 Highest rankings: Geriatrics (#2); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#9); Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#10); Ear, Nose & Throat (#10). Honor Roll rank last year: Was not on Honor Roll. See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 15. NYU Langone Medical Center
    Karsten Moran
    Location: New YorkHonor Roll Points: 10 Highest rankings: Orthopedics (#4), Rheumatology (#6), Geriatrics (#8), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#8). Honor Roll rank last year: 14 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 14. Duke University Hospital
    http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/nc/duke-university-medical-center-6360355
    Location: Durham, North CarolinaHonor Roll Points: 11 Highest rankings: Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#4), Pulmonology (#5), Ophthalmology (#6). Honor Roll rank last year: 12 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 12. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
    Courtesy of UPMC
    Location: PittsburghHonor Roll Points: 11 Highest rankings: Ear, Nose & Throat (#7); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#7); Rheumatology (#9). Honor Roll rank last year: 10 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 12. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Courtesy of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Location: Los AngelesHonor Roll Points: 11 Highest rankings: Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#6), Orthopedics (#7), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#8). Honor Roll rank last year: 13 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 11. University of Washington Medical Center
    University of Washington Medical Center
    Location: SeattleHonor Roll Points: 12 Highest rankings: Rehabilitation (#4), Cancer (#6), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#10). Honor Roll rank last year: Was not on Honor Roll. See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Courtesy of Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Location: ChicagoHonor Roll Points: 13 Highest rankings: Diabetes & Endocrinology (#8), Urology (#9), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#10). Honor Roll rank last year: 6 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 9. Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Courtesy of BWH
    Location: BostonHonor Roll Points: 15 Highest rankings: Gynecology (#2), Cancer (#4), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#5), Nephrology (#5), Rheumatology (#5). Honor Roll rank last year: 9 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 8. UCSF Medical Center
    Courtesy of UCSF Medical Center
    Location: San FranciscoHonor Roll Points: 17 Highest rankings: Nephrology (#4), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#5), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#5). Honor Roll rank last year: 7 (tie with New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell) See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 7. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian
    Penn Medicine
    Location: PhiladelphiaHonor Roll Points: 19 Highest rankings: Ear, Nose & Throat (#3); Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#7); Pulmonology (#7). Honor Roll rank last year: 11 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
    Carlos Rene Perez
    Location: New YorkHonor Roll Points: 22 Highest rankings: Psychiatry (#2), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#2), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#3), Rheumatology (#3), Nephrology (#3). Honor Roll rank last year: 7 (tie with UCSF Medical Center) See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 5. UCLA Medical Center
    Benny Chan
    Location: Los AngelesHonor Roll Points: 23 Highest rankings: Geriatrics (#3), Urology (#4), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#5), Ophthalmology (#5). Honor Roll rank last year: 5 See all of this hospital's rankings.
  • 4. Cleveland Clinic
    Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic
    Location: ClevelandHonor Roll Points: 26 Highest rankings: Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#1), Urology (#1), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#2), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#2), Nephrology (#2), Rheumatology (#2). Honor Roll rank last year: 4 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 3. Johns Hopkins Hospital
    Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Hospital
    Location: BaltimoreHonor Roll Points: 26 Highest rankings: Rheumatology (#1); Ear, Nose & Throat (#2); Neurology & Neurosurgery (#3), Urology (#3); Ophthalmology (#3); Psychiatry (#3). Honor Roll rank last year: 1 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 2. Massachusetts General Hospital
    Courtesy of Massachusetts General Hospital
    Location: BostonHonor Roll Points: 28 Highest rankings: Psychiatry (#1), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#3), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#3). Honor Roll rank last year: 2 See all of this hospital’s rankings.
  • 1. Mayo Clinic
    Courtesy of MFMER
    Location: Rochester, Minnesota Honor Roll Points: 29 Highest rankings: Diabetes & Endocrinology (#1); Ear, Nose & Throat (#1); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#1); Geriatrics (#1); Gynecology (#1); Nephrology (#1); Neurology & Neurosurgery (#1); Pulmonology (#1). Honor Roll rank last year: 3 See all of this hospital’s rankings.

More from U.S. News: Advice for Hospital Patients:
FAQ: How We Ranked the Best Hospitals 2014-15
12 Questions to Ask Before Discharge
You’ve Been Discharged. Now What?
How to Read Your Hospital Bill

CONVERSATIONS