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.

Best Conference Presentations on Social Media in Healthcare

As social media use among medical professionals continues to climb, we’ve also seen an uptick in discussions on the topic at medical conferences.

May 31, 2016 - Ali Bonar


How much do you use social media for professional purposes? As social media use among medical professionals continues to climb, we’ve also seen an uptick in discussions on the topic at medical conferences. Today, we are highlighting some of the most interesting conference presentations on the use of social media in the healthcare community.

1. Social Media for the Surgeon: Lifelong Learning, Engagement, and Reputation Management

Dr. Deanna Attai, 2016 American College of Surgeons Leadership and Advocacy Summit


Dr. Deanna Attai, a breast surgeon at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, gave this talk at the 2016 American College of Surgeons Leadership and Advocacy Summit in April. Dr. Attai includes step-by-step how-to’s on getting started with social media as a doctor, and shares these words to live by online: “Don’t lie, don’t pry, don’t cheat, can’t delete, don’t steal, don’t reveal.”

2. Residency and Social Media: Triple Threat or Triple Promise (Allegheny Health Network)

Dr. Joan Devine, Dr. James B. Reilly, Dr. Abirami Janakiraman, Dr. Nicole Sacca, 2016 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine Annual Meeting

This presentation was given at the 2016 APDIM Chief Resident Meeting in April, by four doctors on the faculty of the Allegheny Health Network residency program in Pittsburgh: Dr. Joan Devine, Dr. James B. Reilly, Dr. Abirami Janakiraman, and Dr. Nicole Sacca. They explore both the benefits and pitfalls of social media, especially for medical residents, as they travel the road from student to doctor. The presentation includes basic rules of engagement to build a truly professional presence online, as well as how to avoid HIPAA violations.

3. Time for Physicians to Get Social

Dr. Edward Mariano, 2015 American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine


At the 2015 American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine meeting, Stanford anesthesiologist Dr. Edward Mariano, shared a comprehensive guide on how healthcare professionals can curate and build your online reputation as a clinician, with platforms such as Doximity and Twitter. Dr. Mariano also shares actionable tips on how to leverage social media to promote and expand the reach of your published research.

4. Nurse Practitioners and Social Media: What's Your Networking IQ?

Dr. Melanie Keiffer, 2016 California Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Education Conference


Dr. Melanie Keiffer, Associate Professor from the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco, presented this talk at the California Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Education Conference. Keiffer focuses on using social media as a tool to educate and connect with patients. She suggests using podcasts, Youtube and blogs to engage patients where they are already hanging out online.

5. The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media. AKA: How Do I Use This Stuff?

Dr. Neil U. Lall 2016 American Society of Neuroradiology Annual Meeting

Want to improve your social media presence at your annual meeting? Resident and Fellow Section Chair of the American College of Radiology Dr. Neil U. Lall has you covered, with step-by-step tips on how to effectively use Twitter, Facebook and other mediums, while still protective your privacy.

Have you learned anything recently about how you can more effectively incorporate social media into your professional life? Tweet @Doximity and let us know!

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!