Residency Navigator: Top 5 Most Asked Questions

Aug 09, 2016 - Erin Gray


By Erin Gray, Product Manager for Doximity Residency Navigator

ERAS opens in less than one month, and fourth year medical students are actively researching programs while program directors are fielding their eager questions. During this time Doximity receives a steady flow of questions and ideas from educators about our research tool, Residency Navigator.

The goal of Doximity Residency Navigator is to assist medical students in the residency exploration process by providing a transparent look at graduate medical programs.

Here are the top 5 questions we are asked about Residency Navigator:

1. What is Residency Navigator?

The Doximity Residency Navigator is an interactive tool designed to help the medical students research and compare residency training programs nationwide based on their unique career interests. We are excited to announce the launch of the 2016-2017 Residency Navigator. Our latest version includes over 4,000 residency programs spanning 27 specialties, providing medical students a more in depth look at the programs in which they’re interested.

2. Where does all the information come from?

Residency Navigator combines objective data with 260,000 nominations, ratings and reviews from over 52,000 U.S. physicians. Objective data is compiled from a variety of public sources as well as our proprietary Doximity database, which covers all U.S. physicians, regardless of membership with Doximity.

Program pages include:

  • Detailed program statistics: Users can filter programs by alumni subspecialization rates, time spent at affiliated hospitals, gender balance, program size, and more.

  • Satisfaction reviews: Current residents and recent alumni anonymously rated and reviewed aspects of their experience, like career guidance, schedule flexibility for pregnancy and other life events, program culture and clinical diversity.

  • Personalized search options: Students can customize their searches based on their personal interests and career goals.

  • Practice setting: Interactive maps highlight where alumni work, and applicants can find and filter programs by region, urban vs. rural environments, or training at large public hospitals.

  • Clinical reputation: Peer nominations provide insight into which programs board-certified U.S. physicians hold in the highest regard for quality of clinical training.

  • Research publications: Doximity's comprehensive database of physician profiles highlights programs whose alumni publish most extensively, bypassing commonly used proxies for quality of research training such as faculty grant funding.

  • Board pass rates: For specialties such as internal medicine, board pass rates highlight which programs teach to national exam standards. For specialties whose medical boards have yet to release pass rate data, Residency Navigator offers the percentage of board-certified alumni as surrogate.

Program pages may be refreshed throughout the year to account for updated data such as new alumni publications, fellowships, board certifications and practice settings. This may affect the Research Output, Percent Subspecialize and Percent Board Certified rates, as well as their respective sort orders. For more information about these data elements, please view our research methodology.

3. What do med students and current residents think about it?

"The Doximity Residency Navigator has become an oft-cited reference amongst senior medical students evaluating training options. I referred to it during my own residency interview experience and found the data valuable in the assessment of various programs beyond sporadic anecdotal information.”
-Pooyan Rohani, MD

"The Residency Navigator. I love this feature. After our match list came out this year, I was searching all the time for the different programs and their highlights. It was great to find everything about a program listed at once."
-Natalie P., Current Medical Student

4. As a program director, how can I make updates to our page?

Add a description: Many programs have chosen to personalize their page by adding a paragraph that highlight special attributes about their institution. Program administrators are welcome to send a description (150 words or less) to be included on their program’s page.

Review data accuracy: We take the accuracy of Residency Navigator data seriously. If you are a program director or coordinator and notice your program information is incorrect or missing, please let us know.

Encourage resident reviews: Your residents can write a review for your program. Eligible residents and recent alumni can contribute reviews for their residency program until early fall 2016. After logging in, eligible residents and alumni will be prompted to complete the Satisfaction Survey on the Doximity homepage.

To update your program page with a description, or if you have any other questions, you can reach our Residency Navigator team any time at residency@doximity.com.

5. How can programs share their Residency Navigator page?
You can include a badge on your email signature or your website that links directly to your Residency Navigator program page.

To add a button or a badge to your residency program page, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/8bKgrN8D4OpMVoB52

Doing More with Off-Label Drug Use

Patient-centered healthcare has seen positive results in off-label drug prescribing. Now’s the time to get serious about documenting off-label use in medicine.

Aug 01, 2016 - Guest Author


This article is contributed by Doximity Fellow and medical student Piyush Sharma

Research and innovation are two lasting pillars of medicine. This is clearly the case in drug development, as we watch for the newest medication to break onto the scene and change how we care for patients. But there’s more to drug treatment than simply applying the latest FDA-approved chemical. Trends over the past decade have shown that physicians are increasingly prescribing treatments off label. This type of prescribing has tremendous potential to affect how we treat patients, so why don’t we monitor and study off-label drug use (OLDU) more effectively?

Patients using drugs for unindicated purposes aren’t part of clinical trials. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. Monitoring and analyzing off-label use, its side effects, and which type of patients do well on a drug is a novel form of clinical research -- an experimental study of drugs already on the market.

AN EXAMPLE IN DERMATOLOGY
A prime example of effective OLDU can be seen with the skin disease vitiligo (a disease I happen to have). Currently, tacrolimus is designated for the treatment of eczema and not as a first-line treatment for vitiligo. However, off label, tacrolimus has shown great results in vitiligo patients. Yet, patients haven’t been educated about this additional option. Information on the drug’s effectiveness isn’t readily available to physicians. After years of unsuccessful vitiligo treatment, I found tacrolimus to be immensely beneficial in my treatment and maintenance of outbreaks. We should be doing more to see if others can reap that benefit.

Physician records of tacrolimus (and any other OLDU drug) could provide the FDA with data on populations that have benefited from the alternative use of market-approved drugs. With enough data, drugs deemed safe and beneficial for unindicated diseases could go through an expedited FDA approval process for additional uses.

HOW IT CAN WORK
The most efficient way to monitor, record, and track OLDU is through EMRs. We could use the system to mark prescriptions “OLDU,” use the database to document their success, and share the information with others. In medicine, percentages and numbers speak volumes. Providing OLDU candidates with stats on successfully treated patients can help them understand the process.

A collection of OLDU statistics would allow physicians to know how often a medication is prescribed off label and help them determine if it could benefit a patient. This type of data is crucial not only to current disease prognosis but to future treatment as well.

Monitoring OLDU, in association with data collection and analysis, provides significant opportunity. It could reduce risk in hospitals, inform current and future patient treatment, and provide a foundation for medico-legal issues that may stem from drugs being prescribed off label.

OLDU hasn’t spent much time under the microscope for fear of bringing attention to what some may consider drug misuse. But, working with available therapies may be one of the safest ways a physician can experiment with treatments. It also helps to skirt the high costs new drug development.

OBSTACLES & LIABILITY
Of course, OLDU is not without its barriers. Physicians who prescribe off label subject themselves to liability. If an OLDU treatment doesn’t work, the responsibility falls squarely on the physician’s shoulders. Physicians must justify the use of a drug and its dosage in a particular scenario, which is a challenge without guidelines. To deal with this, some OLDU prescribers start small and increase the dosage gradually if the treatment works.

The current OLDU set-up will need to be adjusted. In order to maximize a standardized OLDU database, physicians must initiate a low dosage regimen and record any adverse effects thoroughly. Once an off-label treatment is deemed successful, those results can be repeated with high internal validity.

USING THE TOOLS WE HAVE
New epidemics spread rapidly, and testing and approving experimental drugs takes up vital time. Why not use drugs that have already gone through regulatory vigilance? Environmental influences, population dynamics, and other factors change over the course of time it takes the FDA to approve a drug for a disease. By using EMRs to implement OLDU databases, we can take positive steps to provide safe and effective treatment options more quickly.

Let’s make more of what we have. It’s time.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent Doximity’s views.

When are physicians most likely to meet their co-authors?

Since research and co-authorship are so important, it’s worth wondering: When are doctors most likely to meet their co-authors? And how do they shape our trajectory in academia?

Jul 11, 2016 - Guest Author


This article is contributed by Dr. Mahboob Alam, Doximity Fellow and Assistant Professor of Medicine-Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine

In medicine, expressing our thoughts and findings in the form of research papers is of utmost importance. Our research helps spread knowledge and may both directly and indirectly impact patient care. Through published research, we learn from each other’s experiences -- whether the outcomes are desired or adverse.

When writing papers, our co-authors are a vital source of ideas and support. Writing a manuscript and getting it through the rigorous process of peer review and publication can be painstaking. Co-authors are closely involved with manuscript from the beginning, and they’re the best peer reviewers one can have. I’ve been fortunate to work with co-authors who are well known in academic medicine. They were essential to our papers’ successes and made each one better, which ultimately led to faster publication.

Since research and co-authorship are so important, it’s worth wondering: When are doctors most likely to meet their co-authors? And how do they shape our trajectory in academia? To find out, let’s take a look at some data.

According to new Doximity research, 60% of co-authors who trained together first did so in residency training. Of the rest, 20% were medical school classmates, 18.5% met during fellowship, and 1.5% met during internship.

This data highlights an important fact about our training as physicians and the paths we take as we advance in our careers. Internship is an extremely busy year of one’s training and, more so, it’s a critical year in which we lay the foundations for our future in clinical medicine.

Based on my personal experience, I was least productive in terms of writing papers during my internship year. This was mostly due to extended work-hours and call schedules. Despite the fact that 20% of my classmates from intern year ended up in the same specialty (cardiovascular medicine), I hardly remember collaborating with one of my co-interns on a research paper or a project. Internship year, however, helped me plan for the future. It also helped me meet seniors and faculty members who were actively engaged in clinical research and who would later become my co-authors.

As I write this, our new interns have recently started and finished their orientation week. The year ahead is going to be a busy one, and the race towards excellence in academic medicine starts on day one. Identifying your co-authors starts right away too! Remember, there’s a high probability you’ll meet your co-authors early in your career. It all starts with an idea that blossoms into a research abstract and ultimately, with the help of right minds, into an outstanding research publication.

How Does Your Name Stack Up Against the Top NP Names?

Doximity explores the most popular names for nurse practitioners

Jun 22, 2016 - Sarah Lemas


As the co-founder of the first nurse practitioner program in the U.S., Dr. Loretta Ford is often referred to as the mother of the NP movement. And while her name will live on in NP history books, we wanted to know if the name “Loretta” literally carries on among the ranks of today’s NPs. To find out, we searched across NP names in the U.S. to see what naming trends we could uncover.

Where have all the Loretta’s gone?

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The most popular female first name overall among NPs is Jennifer, followed very closely by Mary. Whether you are named Jennifer or Mary probably depends on your age. The average age for a NP in the United States is 49. Mary was the most popular name in the 1940’s-1960’s, while Jennifer rose to popularity in the 1970’s-1980’s.

For male NPs, Michael is the most popular by a wide margin, with David, James & John in a dead heat for second place. Interestingly, this does not quite match the lineup of Doximity’s recap of most popular doctor names, where John commands the winning spot. This may be because the average male doctor is 55, which is six years older than the average NP. John has been a popular male name for more than 100 years, especially in the 1940’s-60’s. By contrast, Michael achieved especially strong popularity in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, when many current NPs were born.

The state of a name

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The state trends follow the overall nationwide naming trends. Jennifer is the number one female NP name in 26 states. It is followed closely by Mary, which wins in 19 states. And in fact, if you look at the number of states where a name is ranked either #1, 2 or 3, Mary slightly edges out Jennifer, 46 states to 43. With two names that are both so popular, it’s hard to discern strong regional trends. Jennifer seems to be slightly more popular in the South and West, while Mary is pretty evenly spread across the country. The stronghold for the name Susan is in the Northeast, and Patricia makes its lone appearance in the #1 spot in New York State.

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Michael tops male NP name in 25 states. David, James and John trail behind as distant runners-up, with only 7-8 states each. Michael dominates the Northeast and Midwest. David is strongest in the Northwest, while James does best in the South. There are also a couple of interesting anomalies here and there, such as Frank being the fourth most popular name in Delaware, but it doesn’t make the top 5 list in any other state. Similarly, Jeffrey is ranked #4 in North Dakota, but no other state seems to have a significant NP population with that name.

What’s your speciality, NP So-and-so?

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Among female NPs, the popular names for most NP specialities match the overall ranking. For example, for acute care, family NPs and psychiatric NPs, the most popular names are Jennifer and Susan. But there are a few specialities which buck the trend. For example, among geriatric NPs, while Mary is the most popular, Linda is also a common name, which suggests that many geriatric NPs were born in the 1940’s and 50’s, when Linda was most prevalent. On the other hand, Karen stands out as third among neonatal NPs, a name that had its heyday in 1960’s.

Male NP names by specialty match the overall popularity for the most part. Michael and David are top names for geriatric, neonatal and family NPs, and they are also in the top five for most other specialities. Christopher makes an appearance as a popular name for acute care NPs, and James is on the list for psychiatric NPs.

Will the real NP please stand up?

When we look at the most popular last names across all NPs, Smith and Johnson reign supreme. Miller, Brown and Williams are on the list as well. Smith is slightly less common in the Northeast and West, while Johnson has the lead in the South. These are also the most common surnames in the United States as a whole.

What’s your name?
How does your name stack up against the most popular nurse practitioner names? The odds suggest your name probably isn’t Loretta Ford but it might be Jennifer Smith or Michael Johnson. What’s your prediction on what new names will start to trend among NPs in the next 5-10 years?

Do you know any of these Jennifers or Michaels? Claim your profile and find out: www.doximity.com.

Prominence among your peers

Tips to grow your professional clout

Jun 16, 2016 - Tim Horvat


Would you like to be considered an expert among your peers?  Or maybe you’d like to get some mainstream press coverage?  We took a look at the CV’s of a number of media-savvy physicians, to glean some tips on how you can increase your professional clout.

1. Take advantage of opportunities that showcase your expertise.  Dr. Jonathan LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS, is a well regarded gastroenterologist whose first media experience was doing an on-screen colonoscopy on Katie Couric.  He got the job at CBS a few years later when the network decided that they wanted a practicing physician (instead of a journalist) as their new medical correspondent, because it would help ensure they were authoritative and up-to-date on the latest medical advances and patient concerns.  

Similarly, Dr. Manny Alvarez, the senior medical news editor for Fox News, completed two residencies and two fellowships. He’s also a professor and currently serves as chair of the OB/GYN department at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. He got his start in TV doing a small segment for Telemundo.  Dr. Jennifer Berman, who co-hosts The Doctors and has appeared on Good Morning America and other shows, is one of the country’s leading experts on women’s sexual health issues.  Among her many achievements, she co-founded and served as director of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA.  She spent years establishing her medical credentials before she became famous. And they are not alone: almost all of the medical correspondents on TV and major newspapers are respected practicing physicians who see patients in addition to their media work.  

2. Write for the mainstream press.  One way to gain prominence is through writing and publishing for the general population.  Pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, who is best known for her Seattle Mama Doc blog, recognized the importance of social media early on. With her help, Seattle Children’s Hospital became the first major children’s hospital to have a pediatrician-authored blog.  Her widely-read blog led to speaking engagements and other media opportunities, including a position on the board of advisors for Parents Magazine, TV appearances, a Huffington Post blog, and becoming an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon, author, and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, started writing articles for small magazines and newspapers as an undergrad.  The more he wrote, the bigger the magazines and newspapers became, which began to broaden his thinking about how to approach his career.  As he said in a story on Guideposts.com, “If I could help a patient one-on-one in a doctor’s office, think how many more I could reach with a story about a promising new cancer treatment or information on preventive medicine.”  Reaching this broader audience via writing raised his public profile, which contributed to his popularity.

3. Consider politics.  Political involvement is another way to establish your credibility.  For example, Dr. Atul Gawande, the surgeon, author & health policy scholar, volunteered for a variety of political campaigns starting as an undergrad, including working for Gary Hart and Al Gore.  He took a break from med school to be Bill Clinton’s healthcare lieutenant in the 1992 campaign, and eventually he became a senior advisor in the Department of Health & Human Services, before returning to finish his medical degree. This political work, along with his writing for Slate and The New Yorker magazine, helped place him in the public eye.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta also has political experience on his CV.  In 1997, Gupta was selected as one of fifteen White House Fellows. During the year-long fellowship, he wrote healthcare speeches for then first lady Hillary Clinton.  This built up his public reputation as a medical expert and created connections.  It’s where he first met the CEO of CNN, Tom Johnson, who later invited him to join CNN’s new medical division as an on-air correspondent.

4. Develop your brand.  Public exposure in one medium often leads to more publicity.  Dr. Travis Stork got his big TV break when he was chosen to star in Season 8 of The Bachelor while he was still a resident, by a chance meeting at a bar of someone who worked on the show.  And then when they started to cast the first season of The Doctors, the producers looked specifically for licensed practitioners who already had television experience. 

A more pragmatic path to TV opportunities is that of Dr. Nancy Snyderman. She spent 15 years as chief medical editor for NBC, but she got her broadcast journalism start doing small appearances at the ABC local affiliate in Little Rock, shortly after she joined the surgical staff at University of Arkansas.  Starting small with a local broadcast channel eventually led to bigger & better media opportunities.  

Physicians can also acquire a following online.  Dr. Sandra Lee, a California dermatologist known on the Internet as Dr. Pimple Popper, started with a personal Instagram account two years ago.  She noticed that her most popular posts were of her at work, popping pimples, blackheads and cysts.  She realized there might be a market for this kind of content, so she created a YouTube channel of herself performing these extractions.  At last count, she had more than one million YouTube subscribers, and her videos had more than 570 million views.  This wild popularity has led to multiple magazine articles and online media coverage as well as TV appearances.  

Do you want your expertise to be widely known?  If so, start by establishing yourself as a knowledgeable physician in your field and get your name out there, in print, online or on TV.  Once you build some public exposure, you may be able to leverage it into additional opportunities.

Anyone can get started by establishing his or her professional reputation online. This means using social and professional networks to control your brand. Doximity gives members the power to showcase their backgrounds, accomplishments, and overall expertise in one easy-to-use national directory. If you haven’t already, create a profile and begin cultivating your professional profile.