5 Must-Read Articles for Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants can help improve access to medical care, elevate health outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction.

May 19, 2016 - Tim Horvat

As a team-based approach has become the norm in the U.S. healthcare system, physician assistants have a growing role in the delivery of healthcare, becoming increasingly important members of the team, in primary care and across other specialities. PAs are crucial to many clinics and make sure patients are seen quickly, treated properly, and receive follow up care.

The PA profession was first proposed in the 1960s due to concerns about the supply of primary-care physicians, which led to the development and training of new types of direct care providers, like PAs.  In the past 25 years, the number of PA’s has grown by 5x, to more than 100,000 certified PAs in the workforce today, according to the NCCPA.  And the number of PAs is expected to continue to climb, with a projected growth rate of 30% in the next 10 years.  This is great news for the delivery of healthcare, as PAs can help improve access to medical care, elevate health outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction.   

Because of the valuable role that PAs play, and in honor of the AAPA conference this week, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite recent articles about PAs and their role in medicine today.

1. What It’s Like to Have the Best Job in America Right Now… hint: the best job is a PA, according to a report by Glassdoor!

2. When It’s OK to See A Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant - And When It’s Not… Explains when it might be more efficient and just as effective to see a PA or NP instead of a doctor, as well as when it makes sense to get a second opinion. 

3. 8 Things Never To Say To A Physician Assistant… all those things that drive you crazy as a PA.

4. Physician Assistant Pay Reaches $100K Annually… Good news: average PA salaries are on the rise.  This article shares some interesting salary range data, as well as which states have the highest median PA salaries.

5. The Best Medical Apps for PA Students, Physician Assistants and Medical Professionals… A helpful summary of some great medical apps you should have on your mobile device.  

Like what you see? Sign up for bi-weekly roundups of noteworthy PA news: doximity.com.

Join us for Doximity Tech Night on May 24

Confessions of a Gopher: Tech Talk by Matt Aimonetti

May 18, 2016 - Doximity Blog

We would like to invite the Bay Area software engineering community to an event and keynote by renowned technologist, entrepreneur, technical writer and active open-source contributor, Matt Aimonetti. Matt is currently CTO of cloud-based music creation and collaboration platform, Splice.

Food and drinks will be provided on Doximity's headquarters: 500 3rd Street, Suite 510, San Francisco.

Program for the Evening

6:00 - 6:30 pm | Check in and Drinks

6:30 - 7:00 pm | Matt Aimonetti, "Confessions of a Gopher"

7:00 - 9:00 pm | Food and Drinks

About The Keynote: Confessions of a Gopher

After 10 active years in the midst of the Ruby revolution I decided it was time to build my own product mixing my two passions: music and code. I made the deliberate choice to use Go for the backend. Our front-end initially written in Rails quickly migrated to JS. 3 years later, terabytes of analyzed audio files and billions of requests later, it's time to reflect on my technical choices and their consequences.

About The Speaker: Matt Aimonetti

Matt Aimonetti is the CTO and Co Founder of Splice, the cloud platform for music producers. He actively contributed to the Ruby ecosystem as technical author, speaker and members of FOSS projects such as Merb, MacRuby and Rails. Go early adopter, he built the Git of music & the rest of Splice's backend using Go. He even wrote a free Go book!

RSVP for Doximity Tech Night

Secure your spot before seats fill up!

Now accepting applications for Doximity Fellowship 2016-17

An opportunity for clincians helping select the most important medical news, kindling conversation on impactful stories

May 13, 2016 - Production Blog Author

We are pleased to announce the opening of our 2016-2017 Fellowship application. This remote fellowship is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with Doximity content by helping select the most important medical news, kindling conversation on impactful stories, and contributing to the Doximity blog.

If you’re interested in bringing content to your colleagues and have unique perspectives to share with others (not to mention earning some valuable name recognition), we’d love to hear from you.

Fellows will
  • Enjoy the opportunity to work with an elite group of medical and health IT experts
  • Build a reputation as a healthcare influencer
  • Access private beta products and premium features
  • Receive compensation in the form of equity and honorarium
  • Attend and host exclusive Doximity events
What previous Fellows have to say

As a fellow for the second consecutive year, it has been quite gratifying to watch doximity transform from a little known entity to one that is becoming an essential daily tool for many US physicians. The fellowship itself has benefited me personally in helping me stay up to date on the latest developments in my specialty of ophthalmology and the greater medical community. It has also provide a wonderful forum to interact with other colleagues, who I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do so. Also, I have enjoyed being able to provide feedback to new features that are being developed for doximity and then seeing those features launch. I look forward to more opportunities in the future to remain involved with doximity.

Darin Goldman, MD

Interested? Apply now.


The application deadline is May 30, 2016. Upon completion of the application, finalists will be invited via email to a phone interview. Please contact fellows@doximity.com with any questions.

What 5 clinicians think about the Joint Commission’s new stance on texting

"Finally, physicians can move beyond the pager and start embracing secure technology in communicating orders"

May 10, 2016 - Doximity Blog

As most healthcare providers already know, the Joint Commission just lifted its ban on texting orders (with caveats). Here at Doximity, we’re supportive of this movement in policy especially as it’s aligned with our own mission: to connect all U.S. clinicians to each other in order to enhance communication and improve their daily workflow. We asked five Doximity members what they think about the Joint Commission’s new stance on texting:

"In a time when most physician offices and hospitals have electronic medical records, and almost all physicians communicate with each other and with patients digitally, texting is simply the next logical step in physician-to-physician communication. With measures to ensure secure and confidential information, texting can enhance patient care. It can provide faster answers to patient questions, ensure faster referrals, and offer peer-to-peer advice."

-Kristin Sokol, MD, MS, MPH
Instructor, Department of Allergy and Inflammation
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

"I think texting orders are a great idea because verbal orders can be misunderstood at times and we deal with bad phone connections at times with skipping of parts of the conversation."

-Rodney Samaan, MD

"Wow! This could really have a positive impact on care. I think of my colleagues on the outpatient team. They field calls and make care adjustments while on the road. The ability to text an order to pharmacy could present a rapid way to impact care. I could envision an NP meeting with family and dictating to text prescription orders and changes as they come up. At the end of the visit, check the text, and the number, send. A realtime way to eliminate the phrase, 'I forgot to order that.'"

-Craig Durie, NP
Family Nurse Practitioner

"Finally, physicians can move beyond the pager and start embracing secure technology in communicating orders. This should go a long way in improving patient care as well as workflow for physicians."

-Armand Krikorian, MD
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Advocate Christ Medical Center

"I applaud the Joint Commission's new stance to lift the ban on texting orders. This will enable providers to improve care for patients by reducing length of stay‎, without leading to an increase in rates of readmission. This was demonstrated in a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The University of Pennsylvania study examined over 11,000 patients in two separate hospitals. One hospital adopted secure text messaging, switching from a standard paging system, reducing length of stay (LOS) from / to 5.4 days within a month's time. The other hospital continued to use its standard paging system, and noted no change in length of stay. In making the transition to texting orders as well as other provider-to-staff communication, it's vital that health care systems have policies in place to record and document texts electronically or manually in the electronic health record (EHR). Some EHRs have built-in and secure platforms for texting, which allow integration of the received texts. However, there are still many that don't, making this an important area to place attention when adopting the new policy change to integrate texting for communication."

-Robert Glatter, MD
Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine
Lenox Hill Hospital

How do doctors keep up with the latest literature?

Physicians work hard to stay current on best practices to help optimize patient outcomes

May 05, 2016 - Production Blog Author

by Natasha Singh, Doximity

In the past we have shared information on how physicians read the news and have explored trends in how millennials and older physicians get their news. We developed these insights from data gathered from aggregate user behavior on Doximity as well as a survey of Doximity members. Today, we wanted to continue this series with a few additional insights on how different specialties keep up on their medical reading.

How much does medical literature matter? A lot.

To recap our findings from previous research, our survey found that 75 percent of physicians change their clinical practices quarterly or monthly based on reading medical literature. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 98 percent of physicians reported reading medical literature is important or very important to their practice.

Mobile vs. laptop?

There are a few interesting differences in how various specialties get their news delivered. Overall, more than two-thirds of physicians catch up on medical news on their mobile device vs. their laptop. But specialties such as neurosurgery, cardiology and orthopaedic surgery are among the most likely to access their news from their phone or tablet, while they are on the go. On the other hand, pathologists and immunologists, are 35% more likely than the average specialist to get their news on their computer. We suspect it has something to do with the countless hours spent in the lab.

What are they reading?

The average Doximity user is reading two or three articles every week posted on Doximity, from medical journals as well as other sources. Neonatologists, thoracic surgeons and emergency medicine physicians tend to be the heaviest weekly readers overall. However, radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons read more scientific and medical journal articles versus other medical news, as compared to other specialties. Generalizing, there seems to be a trend toward more highly specialized clinicians reading more scientific and technical articles, while general practitioners are more likely to take interest in healthcare related articles their patients may be reading in the lay press. By staying up-to-date on mainstream topics, general practitioners are better prepared to discuss the health topic du jour when brought up by patients in their office.

All the news that’s fit to print

It is time consuming to keep up with the latest medical advances, but physicians work hard to stay current on best practices to help optimize patient outcomes. Depending on the demands of your specialty and your practice, you probably have developed your own habits on how to stay current on medical literature.

What do you find to be the most effective ways to keep up with medical literature? Tweet @Doximity and let us know!

Why social networking is a career game-changer

Dr. Joseph Kim, physician blogger and founder of NonClinicalJobs.com on how and why clinicians need to finally take the social media plunge

Apr 27, 2016 - Production Blog Author

Editor’s Note: Doximity Medical Advisory Board member, Joseph Kim, MD, MPH is president of Medical Communications Media, Inc., and founder and editor of NonClinicalJobs.com.

Looking ahead to the next several months, I’ve found myself frequently wondering how many physicians will make this their year to take the plunge and join an online social network. There are significant advantages that can be gained for doctors who embrace social media, not the least of which have to do with colleaguing.

Here, five ways you and your practice can benefit hugely from such professional connections.
1. Finding a better job

The business of the health care economy continues to evolve. Physicians in small private practices face the possibility of hire by hospitals or large groups; those in primary care may transition to a concierge practice model; and yet other may change to “shift work” so they can be off-call when they’re at home. Regardless of the job change, if you lack a robust social network of professional colleagues, you may miss a perfect opportunity to transition into a better working environment. You won’t even know about possible opportunities because you won’t be connected.

2. Preparing for retirement

Physicians are incredibly busy and most of our day-to-day interactions are with other healthcare professionals. Therefore, retirement may shrink our social networks more rapidly than it would those in other professions. Don’t let this happen: Peer contacts can be a point-of-entry to other non-clinical projects such as consulting or writing that can, among many things, provide some additional income to supplement your retirement savings.

3. Helping other physicians

In the world of business, executives are constantly referring other colleagues for job openings, consulting jobs and other opportunities. Business executives understand and appreciate the importance of networking; there’s no reason we can’t do the same in our profession. Speaking engagements and expert consulting for startup businesses are just some of the non-traditional opportunities that tend to circulate through trusted friend and colleague networks.

4. Sharing ideas and fostering professional development

Invariably, when you engage with others in a social network, you’re going learn things applicable to your own career. From job negotiating skills or the finer points of practice management to the challenges of balancing clinical duties with administrative responsibilities, you’ll often encounter a wide range of links and talking points. (Just recently, for instance, I’ve noticed many physicians having online discussions related to the “meaningful use” of electronic health records to obtain the financial incentives set aside by the government.)

5. Initiating a complete career transition

Burnout is a reality in today’s round-the-clock workforce, and should you ever find yourself in the market for a complete career transition–say into the non-clinical business world of pharma, finance, managed care, health information technology or consulting–it’s quite likely that your social network can help you with leads as well as support as you prepare for your next phase. Build your contacts and keep an open mind, you never know where it might lead.

Networking in healthcare: How to search like a pro on Doximity

Doximity search results are customized just for you

Apr 15, 2016 - Production Blog Author

By Sarah-Richelle Lemas, Doximity

We’ve talked about the super-powers of super-connected docs, and how physicians are ditching traditional methods of finding other doctors in favor of using their online network. Now we want to share some practical tips on how to search within Doximity like a pro. Whether you need to urgently contact a patient’s PCP while you are on call, locate a referral, or even find your next job, we’ll show you how to search Doximity to get the information you need and connect with the right clinicians STAT.  

Searching for that perfect (referral) fit


Say you have a patient in San Francisco who needs a referral for a pediatric cardiologist. Type “pediatric cardiologist” into the top search bar on Doximity.com or the mobile app, and you’ll be presented with a list of matches. If you click on the “People” tab, you can further narrow your pediatric cardiologist results by location, specialty, or hospital. All the clinician profiles are reliable since they combine both public and user-entered data. And the search covers all the fields in their profile, so you can get matches based on subspecialty or research interests too. Plus, you can usually find more detailed and up-to-date contact information for those cardiologists than you would on Google, including back office numbers and other direct contact details if you are connected as colleagues.

Pro tip: You can even do a reverse lookup by phone number, if, say, you want to get more details on a physician you don’t know well who left a message on your voicemail.

What you may not know is Doximity search results are customized just for you. Our algorithms prioritize search results based on your location, your specialty, and who your colleagues are, and anticipate what you are most likely searching for, to make your search results as accurate as possible.

Map it!

If you do that same search for a pediatric cardiologist on your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android), you’ll also see a map view of your search results, and can easily zoom in to focus on results in a certain geographic area. Plus your search history is synced across devices, so no matter where you log in, Doximity will remember your recent searches.


Pro tip: You can do “spotlight” search on your iPhone (which searches ALL content on your device, such as apps, music, contacts etc.) for a particular clinician, and it will include contact details from Doximity, if it’s a professional that you’ve colleagued with or searched for on Doximity before.

Land a new job


If your past job searches involved weeding out vague posts that that mention more about golf and fishing than the actual position itself, you can try out the Doximity Jobs tab, where you can filter your search by what physicians actually care about: specialty, location, and even by part-time/full-time/locum tenens. For example, let’s say you’re a internist looking for a new opportunity. You can type “internist” in the search bar and filter by specialty, county, and state. And if golf is a priority, you can include that in your search terms, too!

The power of search

Doximity offers robust searching capabilities so that no matter what you are looking for -- a referral, reconnecting with an old colleague, a new job opportunity -- we can help you find what you need fast and easily. Our job is to help you connect and communicate with other clinicians -- via powerful searching features -- so that you can focus on your patients.

7 apps every clinician needs

Here are seven apps to help save time and make life easier

Apr 05, 2016 - Ali Bonar

By Ali Bonar, Doximity

Doctors and healthcare professionals are super busy. We know you are trying to juggle a lot of different responsibilities at once, both at work and at home. Here are seven apps to help save time and make life easier, so that you can focus on patient care rather than daily busywork.  

1. Evernote - You can create and save notes wherever you are, via text, photo, attachments, email and more.  For example, jot down notes of discussions with other clinicians, or of a lecture you attended. You can then search for specific words and phrases in all of your notes in seconds, rather than spending hours digging through each of them separately. You can also store website articles and PDFs that you want to read or save for a later date. However, according to their support site, Evernote is not HIPAA-compliant so make sure you do not store patient-identifiable data.

2. Any.do - Keep track of your to-do list to help you be more productive every day.  Any.do is a task-management app that can help you create to-do lists and reminders that sync across devices. And the Any.do Moment helps you to make a habit of reviewing your daily tasks first thing in the morning so you're never caught off guard by surprise tasks later in the day.

3. Amion - Stay on top of your on-call shifts and coordinate coverage with others in your department. Want to switch shifts with a colleague? Send them a HIPAA-secure message in order to easily do so.

4. 1Password - As a medical professional, security is essential. 1Password helps you remember all your passwords and even strengthens weak or duplicate passwords to enhance security.

5. MedCalX - This leading medical calculator allows you to access complicated medical formulas, scales, scores and classifications. With calculators for a broad range of specialties, it makes calculations quick and easy to perform. In addition, users can create a list of patients, and save the calculations performed for those particular patients to their profiles.

6. Box - Store and share files online with Box’s HIPAA-secure service. You can store all your files in the cloud (personal and work!), so that you can access them anytime, from any device. Box recently launched a DICOM viewer service so you can store, view and share DICOM files, like MRI’s and x-rays.

7. Doximity - And yes, we had to mention it. The professional network for physicians and healthcare professionals. The free mobile app features personalized news, a HIPAA-secure digital fax line, an easy way to earn CME credits on-the-go, plus the ability to easily connect with other clinicians.

What apps do you find most helpful as a clinician? Which apps do you use everyday to be most productive? Tweet @doximity with your top picks!

Does your NPI profile reveal more than you want?

The first step is to find out what may be out there

Mar 31, 2016 - Doximity Blog

By Sarah-Richelle Lemas, Doximity

Here’s a scary scenario: imagine picking up your cell phone to find a patient unexpectedly on the other end. Or imagine him or her standing on your front doorstep. While both of these situations may seem like unlikely, your personal information -- including cell phone and home address -- may be publicly available without you even realizing it.

Here’s what’s happening

Have you ever Googled your name to see what turns up? As a licensed physician, you will likely see websites that use public information from government sources, often the National Provider Index (NPI). The NPI is a unique ten digit number assigned to every health care provider by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It is the required identifier for Medicare services and other payers, like commercial healthcare insurers. Once assigned, your NPI is permanent and remains with you regardless of job or location changes. Your NPI profile includes your name, office contact information, and specialty.

If your cell phone number or home address are showing up on various online directories and websites, it may be because it was listed as your primary contact information on NPI, instead of your office phone and address. Or perhaps someone else (such as a residency program coordinator) filled out your NPI profile on your behalf, and unintentionally used personal contact details. You may not have even realized that this information would be available publicly when you initially filled out your NPI application.

Many online directories use this public data from the NPI, so you need to be sure that your NPI profile contains the exact information you want patients to see.

So how do I fix this?

Having your personal information publicly available is a scary thought. But the good news is that you can control your online identity. The first step is to find out what may be out there.

1.Choose your contact information wisely. If you are a new resident and haven’t applied for an NPI yet, you may want to think twice before including your personal cell phone number -- because it might put your private information at risk. NPIs are usually distributed to graduating med students, so ask your residency program director about which number and address will make the most sense.

2.Be aware of what info is in your NPI profile. If you already have an NPI, you may not remember exactly what information you included. So visit the NPI registry to check out your profile. If you need to update anything, you can do it on the NPI website by creating an account.

3.Take a look at your Doximity profile. It is easy to update your contact information on your Doximity profile by selecting “edit” once you are logged in to your account. Just click here to log in to your profile. You decide what information is public, and which colleagues can see your private contact information. And if you have additional questions, you can always contact our friendly Support desk.

Protect your privacy

At Doximity, our goal is to make it easy for you to quickly connect with other medical professionals -- and help you take control of what personal information is visible to others. Managing your Doximity and NPI profiles is a good starting point to take charge of your digital footprint and make sure you aren’t unintentionally sharing more than you wanted.

The super-powers of connected docs

From backlines to back channels, here's how physicians are turning to Doximity to unlock critical lines of communication

Mar 24, 2016 - Production Blog Author

By Tim Horvat, Doximity

As a medical professional, you hold patient lives in your hands, which means thinking on your feet and acting fast when patient care demands it. Sometimes you need to tap into networks beyond your department, hospital, or referral community. But your time is valuable, and you don’t want to waste it hunting down the resources you need. To save time, many physicians are turning to Doximity to help unlock the doors: helping doctors find and connect quickly with any other doctor so that they can improve patient care. Here, we’ve compiled a few of the many compelling stories of physicians using Doximity to aid them in providing the best care possible, when it matters most.

Is there a Crohn’s expert in the house?

Try it out yourself by typing “inflammatory bowel disease San Francisco” into the search bar.

For example, Dr. Nikhil Agarwal in San Francisco recalls a patient with Crohn’s Disease who had recently moved from North Carolina to the Bay Area. The patient was experiencing steadily worsening symptoms, but was having trouble finding a new local provider to see him within a reasonable timeframe. The patient’s original gastroenterologist wanted to help -- so he searched Doximity for a Bay Area expert in inflammatory bowel disease, and found Dr. Agarwal.

Once Dr. Agarwal received the private message, he was able to get the patient in to see him within a couple of days. Dr. Agarwal got a summary of the patient from the previous doctor, as well as electronic faxes of relevant past tests and labs. “The patient received expedited care due to [the original doctor’s] diligence,” said Dr. Agarwal, “and was able to be started on the appropriate therapy within days, rather than weeks to months if he went through the conventional channels of health care.”

Working on the weekend

Patients rarely get sick when it’s convenient, but they still need the best care. Dr. Anitha Rao, a Chicago-based Neurologist tells about a weekend when she admitted a patient to the Neuro ICU who had been seizing continuously for an hour.  They urgently needed to contact the patient’s regular physician to get information on prior seizure meds. But, as she says, “we were clueless on how to contact the primary neurologist on a Saturday!” Dr. Rao was able to locate the physician’s backline on Doximity and make a phone call, successfully retrieving the patient’s details when time was running out.

We all need somebody to lean on

Dr. Jennifer Tang, a New Jersey-based Internal Medicine physician, had a beloved 90-something year old patient that she’d been seeing for almost ten years. But over the past couple of years, the patient’s memory had been declining severely, to the point where both the patient’s daughter and Dr. Tang felt it was no longer safe for the elderly patient to live at home alone. However, the patient was extremely independent and strong-willed, so conversations about reducing the 90 year old’s independence were an ongoing struggle.  

Due to the scope of this challenging situation, Dr. Tang knew that additional consultation was required to resolve the issue, and was able to connect with a med school classmate on Doximity who now specializes in geriatric psychiatry. She also talked with a prior residency classmate who is a geriatrician. Both were able to give Dr. Tang helpful tips on how to effectively approach her patient, so that she could better help the woman through this difficult life transition.  

Connecting with old friends in need

Dr. Charles Dunham is a psychiatrist in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He uses Doximity because it has made it easy for him to connect with old colleagues from residency, a valuable network that can often help with easy referrals. Over time, though, it can be hard to stay up to date on each other’s practice locations and contact information. In one instance, a former colleague dialed Dr. Dunham on a private phone number only available to his Doximity connections. The physician explained her brother was experiencing new onset psychosis. Dr. Dunham says, “I was able to walk her through some scenarios and we made an appointment for her family member with a respected psychiatrist. I'm not sure this would have happened without the connectivity of Doximity, especially its back-office phone numbers.”

What about your needs?

You’ve probably experienced this yourself—needing to set up an urgent referral or consult outside of your established network. Can Doximity help you tap into a nationwide network of doctors, to quickly connect with other physicians when you need it most? Doximity’s search feature allows you to find any licensed US physician by name, specialty, geographic location, hospital affiliation, and more. Try it yourself and see who you may know on the super-connected network.