The Physician Spotlight series highlights members of the Doximity network. This week, we interviewed Dr. Munir Janmohamed, cardiologist specializing in heart failure, based in Sacramento.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
A: I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. My father was a physician, so I was exposed to the medical field at a very young age. I loved watching him interact with his patients. As I got older, I always gravitated towards biology and science classes, so when it came time to choose my career path, I already knew I wanted to be a physician.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a physician, particularly as a cardiologist?
A: As a heart failure specialist, I work with patients who are in a chronic disease state. As such, I need to be able to follow my patients very closely. I think communication is really the key to making sure my patients and I are in sync, and to ensure I know of any changes they may be experiencing with their health so I can make clinical changes with medications if necessary. My generation of physicians grew up using technology, so I like to leverage tools like Doximity’s Dialer to help me communicate with my patients more efficiently. I see the future of cardiology and heart failure in particular transforming. In the next 10-15 years, you may see your cardiologists in the traditional office setting, but in between important check-ups, you will have the option of seeing your physician via telemedicine.
Q: What tools or features do you use and like the most on the Doximity?
A: There’s a couple of features that I use on a daily basis. However, the tool I use most is Doximity’s fax feature– through the app, I can send and receive secure messages with my colleagues. It’s HIPAA compliant, so I can send and receive important information while I’m on the go from my cell phone, or while I’m in my office on my desktop. I use this feature a lot, especially when I need to get prescription refills for my patients.
Q: Why might a doctor’s online presence be important?
A: Today, there’s so much information that can be found online, so before patients choose a provider, they will do their own research. It’s great that patients are empowering their own care. Online sites like Doximity can help physicians customize their public profile and highlight skills and expertise in certain conditions. For example, I’m a cardiologist, but I specialize in heart failure and specific conditions in heart failure. So, I leverage my Doximity profile to highlight those areas of expertise and manage my online presence.
Q: Why is doctor-to-doctor communication so important?
A: Physician-to-physician communication is really the key to providing patients with the best care. It’s also something I believe we can all work to improve. Traditional channels of communication, like sending a letter through the EMR system, get delayed when trying to reach a physician outside of your network. But with Doximity, those barriers are eliminated and more physicians can connect with one another directly. Conversations can take place, ideas are born, and relationships are strengthened. In fact, there are many referring physicians I know now who have shared their personal cell phone numbers with me. I can easily check in with them and let them know when I’ve seen their patient in case there is any follow-up. A platform like Doximity makes communication between doctors at different health systems much more efficient, which is a good thing for patients.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I really appreciate that Doximity’s main focus has been and continues to be physicians first. You are always trying to evolve the product for a better experience for physicians. I think many of us (doctors) share our frustrations with the EMRs, and I think it’s because EMRs weren’t necessarily designed with physicians in mind. Doximity has taken a very different approach. They are always asking the community of physicians what works and what doesn’t work and continue to evolve the product from there. In doing so, Doximity has become a kind of “one-stop-shop” where I can go to read recent research, connect with my colleagues, referring physicians, call my patients, fax documents, and more. I look forward to seeing the platform continue to evolve.
Illustration by Yi-Min Chun