We've passed our 30,000 user milestone!

We’re excited about how far we’ve already come, and are looking forward to rolling out some new features in the next few months

Dec 03, 2011 - Production Blog Author


In April, when we first launched Doximity, we set a goal to reach 30,000
members before the end of the year. There are 600,000 physicians currently
practicing in the U.S., so 30,000 would represent 5% of our market. For
companies that rely on registered users, this is typically the point where
growth shifts well beyond early adopters.

This past week–just eight months later–we hit that mark. (You can read more
about it in the context of other healthcare companies in this TechCrunch blog
post
, and for even more nitty gritty, on our press page.) We’re also
wrapping up the year having become the largest medical professional network in
the U.S. To give you a sense of size, LinkedIn, which is the biggest
professional network overall and the only other such medical network requiring
real name users, currently has 15,000 physician members nationally.

We’re excited about how far we’ve already come, and are looking forward to
rolling out some new features in the next few months. Please continue to reach
out to us here, on the site, and through Facebook and Twitter.
We’re committed to addressing the unique needs of doctors and, as such, we take
your feedback very seriously.

Sincerely,
The Doximity Team

Debate: Is Kaiser good for medicine? (Part 2)

When it comes to issues of choice, namely the freedom to pursue an untried or very tailored treatment plan, there are significant compromises

Nov 25, 2011 - Doximity Blog


Editor’s Note: Marc Lawrence, MD, is a member of Doximity’s Advisory
Board.

Last month, advisory board member Peter Alperin wrote an essay outlining
the strengths and advantages
of Kaiser and other integrated delivery
systems. Like Peter, I have worked for Kaiser, and I, too, have found it to
be a good place for doctors. While the pay isn’t overwhelmingly high, the
employee benefit program is excellent, and physicians certainly face a smaller
risk of litigation there than they would in independent practices. Patient
follow-up is exemplary, and standard procedures and courses of treatment are
carefully developed and researched. However, when it comes to issues of choice,
namely the freedom to pursue an untried or very tailored treatment plan, there
are significant compromises.

Kaiser has a certain way of delivering care, and the bottom line is that you
can’t just see any specialist you choose when you want to get a second opinion.
You first have to go through Kaiser’s own system. If you’re a patient with an
oddball disease–a rare cancer, for example–Kaiser is therefore a tough sell.
The bureaucracy can be frustrating, and the kind of deeply targeted care you
would get somewhere like MD Anderson or the Cleveland Clinic, while not
impossible, will be more challenging to pull off. It’s reasonable that
patients, empowered as they are with information resources, will resist having
to march through all the steps and go through all the Kaiser ropes when the end
result will be exactly what they already know–that they need to get care
elsewhere.

Looking at this same issue from a physician’s perspective, one could argue that
Kaiser is getting considerable press for being the “right” system, but an
environment where there’s only one style of care is a limited one. Just as some
patients may not fit the Kaiser model, there are most certainly brilliant
doctors who don’t thrive in the kind of ultra-integrated environment.
Individuals whose personalities make them impatient to innovate, for instance,
will undoubtedly find the pace too slow. Because Kaiser is committed to proven
approaches, change does not come right away. In certain cases, there may be
other, more cutting-edge ways of delivering care that just haven’t yet made it
into the pipeline.

There are countless arguments for why Kaiser and other integrated care systems
are well-run and effective models, and I agree with the vast majority of them.
But as we continue to develop new approaches in healthcare, I want to make a
case for remembering to look outside of the box of what’s already working on a
broad scale, and continuing to make room for the small-scale and even the
untried.

Essential tips for easy digital content searches

With over 21 million citations, here are some shortcuts to navigate this abundance of information

Nov 18, 2011 - Doximity Blog


Editor’s Note: Jey Balachandran is a software engineer at Doximity.

For those of you tracking medicine’s digital shift, here’s some interesting
news: In January, 81 year-old William H. Welch Medical Library at Johns
Hopkins University will go completely online. The move was precipitated in
response to calculations showing that in a day only about 40 of the 400,000
books currently housed in the building were checked out compared to 35,000
downloaded online. By the end of the transfer, nearly 95% of the collection
will be available virtually.

The Hopkins case is, of course, a reflection of just how far the scales have
tipped in favor of online medical research. PubMed, for instance, now
comprises more than 21 million citations, and most journals make some if not
all of their content available on the Web. In the interest of maximizing
returns as you navigate this abundance information, it’s worth having a few
shortcuts.

To get around needing to go back and login to your institution’s website, for
example, Doximity product developer Nate Gross wrote this basic
bookmarklet
that allows readers easy journal login using their institution’s
proxy server. Additionally, whether you’re searching Google or an institution’s
online medical library, order counts. Most search engines will give strongest
weight to the first words you type in (if you know exactly what you want, add
quotation marks for extra heft). In addition, they’ll let you jump from your
search engine to a search within a specific website if you add a colon after
the last word of the search term, directly followed by the site name (no space
in between).

You probably already know to use “and,” “or” and “?” in searches just as you
would when you speak. Similarly, you can use the minus sign directly before a
word (again, no space in between) to exclude that word from your search. Also
helpful: When you’re vague on exact wording, you can simply type an asterix in
place of a word you think you might be missing–this essentially says “give me a
wildcard.” Another approach is to tell the engine to include synonyms in your
search by using the tilde symbol (looks like this: ~) directly before the word
in question. Lastly, once you get to your text, you’re actually able to
search
within it by holding down the “command” and “f” keys simultaneously.

For a more in-depth list of tips, we asked Welch library director Nancy K.
Roderer, and her colleagues Sue Woodson and Blair Anton to share some of their
best advice for navigating the digital stacks. Their top suggestions, below.

Books by an author/ISBN
To see the most popular books by an author we like
WorldCat Identities, an online catalog of over 72,000 library collections.
You’ll get your search results itemized according to popularity. (here’s a
sample search we did). The government also assigns each book what’s called
an ISBN number (you’ll see these listed on Amazon, for example). Most digital
stacks enable searches using just those digits.

Latest on my topic
A search in PubMed always returns its results by “most
recently added.” So, whenever you do your search, you’ll see the latest
information on your topic at the top of the results list.

Current issues of a journal I know
On a familiar subject, physicians often
know the relevant journals and the easiest thing to do is go to the website of
the journal and search there. Many journals now offer a pre-print or
articles-in-press service for very current articles on a topic. To stay up to
date afterwards, you can often also register your search for an alert service.
The journal runs your search on a fixed schedule and if the results include new
things you’ll receive those citations by email.

Introduction to a new subject
While Wikipedia is good for getting a general
overview of many topics, it doesn’t always work that well for clinical
questions. Google Scholar, on the other hand, covers the medical literature
and allows you to limit your results to the current year. But don’t forget
Google itself, either. It’s an excellent way to pull up media writing on
medical treatments or issues.

Cultivating a killer digital footprint: 6 tips for doctors

Go to Google right now, type your name and see what comes up.

Nov 08, 2011 - Doximity Blog


Editor’s note: Doximity Advisory Board member Bryan Vartabedian, MD,
is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and blogs at
33 charts.

Go to Google right now, type your name and see what comes up. For better or
worse, that’s what people understand about you when they search for you.

As scary as that may sound, you have more control than you think. In fact, if
you don’t take charge of what’s created about you, someone else will be glad to
take care of it. Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social
Media
tells marketing professionals that “the solution to pollution is
dilution.” In other words, you can’t control the negative, but you can sure
create lots of other stuff for people to see. Here, six powerful ways you can
influence your own online identity.

Create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is basically a digital CV on
steroids. It’s where you park your current position and work history for
everyone from your future boss to your college roommate to peruse (if you don’t
want patients to link to you, be sure to shut off the “connections” feature).
The most effective profiles I’ve seen are those that have taken advantage of
the biographical “summary” feature. Check out Wendy Sue Swansons’s page to
see how she’s used it to promote herself as an advocate and media spokesperson.

Join Doximity. The profile that you create on Doximity is visible to
the public through the search engines, and I’d argue that it’s better suited
for physicians because it allows you to effectively highlight specific details
of medical training and practice settings. It’s also very tailored in terms
of connections: Doctors can colleague you, and patients can’t make that kind
of contact but will see relevant-to-them data such as your public phone
line.

Write something. Perhaps the most powerful way for people to understand
what you’re about is to write about it. A move like launching your own blog
allows you to create an empire of tailored information. If you’re not inclined
to start your own site, see if your local hospital has a blog. More than
likely, they’ll be happy to add another good, original voice.

Tape something. Don’t like to write? Then grab a Flipcam and start your own
channel on YouTube. People love to watch videos, and YouTube searches
beautifully. Better yet, create your own videos and park them on a blog. Bottom
line, find the medium that’s comfortable for you and run with it.

Make use of SlideShare. In all likelihood, you have brilliant material
sitting on your computer right now. I’m talking about your old powerpoint
presentations. They can be a great way to tell about you and your expertise.
Use SlideShare to upload them for public viewing, making sure your name is
prominent on your account and in the description of the program.

Sign up for about.me. Some doctors may find about.me too flashy, but
depending on your practice and what you’re looking to achieve, this service’s
one-page profile-generator can be a simple way to push out a little more
content.

Bottom line: There’s no one “right” way to build your footprint, and a
lot of your choices will depend on where you want to go professionally. If
you’re looking to recruit patients as a cardiologist, for example, your
approach may be very different than that of a budding physician executive. My
strongest advice is to find a role model who’s doing what you want to do–don’t
be afraid to take a page from his or her playbook. Finally, always remember
that what you do and what you post is a reflection of you. Be smart.

Life is short, the art long. Why doctors love Apple.

In this sense, Jobs was the ultimate physician. He healed our technology pains.

Nov 02, 2011 - Production Blog Author


Editor’s Note: Jeff Tangney is Doximity’s CEO.

Epocrates, a company I co-founded, was one of four apps Steve Jobs chose to
present on stage during the AppStore launch back in 2008. He told us his own
doctor wouldn’t switch to an iPhone unless it had Epocrates. This lucky bit of
customer research gained us admission to a round-the-clock three-week
code-a-thon inside a guarded Apple conference room. After successive cuts, only
four of the 12 companies invited made it to the Apple stage. Through it all, no
one worked as hard as Steve. He sweat the details, the demo’s, the script;
left emails and voicemails at all hours; and somehow got us to work harder than
we ever had, for free. It was, to use a much-debated term of late, genius.

Last week, Steve Jobs’s biography was officially released, and with it, a
second round of well-considered articles about Jobs and his legacy. It has
launched a rich, detailed, almost “too soon” debate about Jobs as a man and how
we have come to define genius in this day and age. Here at Doximity (an Apple
fanboy shop if there ever were one), our head of design has already joked that
after reading Isaacson’s biography, he will now scream, swear and then cry to
get his way because “it’s what Steve would do.”

Isaacson’s biography concludes that history will place Jobs in the “pantheon
right next to Edison and Ford.” I don’t think that’s the right place. Edison
and Ford were brilliant engineers and shrewd businessmen who built incredibly
functional life-changing products. But they weren’t artists. And while Jobs was
an enormously effective engineering manager, he was not an engineer. He was a
businessman first and an artist at heart. His genius rose from creating
art–elegant design, playful flourishes, indeed happiness–out of other’s great
engineering.

Physicians have always disproportionately favored Apple products. At Epocrates,
our physician users were four times more likely than average to have a Mac. At
Doximity today, iPhone users outnumber Android three to one while Android leads
iPhone in overall market share. Overall, seventy-five percent of US
physicians own not just a tablet or smartphone, but specifically some sort of
Apple device. Most chalk this up to the many years physicians spend in
academia, where Apple’s share is higher. But I have an alternate theory:
physicians appreciate art.

Hippocrates said it best: “life is short, the art long.” Medicine is an art. It
is rooted in science and utilizes the latest engineering, but healing is both
complex and subtle. It draws in those with an appreciative eye, an intuitive
aesthetic sense. From Hawkeye Pierce to House MD, our pop culture lionizes
gutsy individualists as physicians, and with good reason: doing the best for
your patient sometimes means breaking the rules. If Andreas Gruentzig, a German
cardiologist, had followed the rules, we wouldn’t know that catheters unclog
arteries.

In this sense, Jobs was the ultimate physician. He healed our technology pains.
He broke the rules, creating new products that not only functioned
mechanically, but also displayed the subtle vigor and glow of a healthy
patient. And on a subconscious level, I think, physicians appreciate that
symmetry more than most.

As a person, Jobs put nearly all of his individual self into his professional
work. Like many physicians in practice today, his personal life was public and
his public life personal, not so much in the tabloid way we’re used to seeing
those words, but through his pride in and personal attachment to his work.

It is then doubly ironic that he was such a poor healer for himself. Our
sadness is mainly for ourselves, Steve. You had so much more to give us.