The Physician Spotlight is an interview series highlighting prominent members of the Doximity network. Each interview sheds light on the unique challenges physicians face in medicine today and how Doximity’s tools and technology are helping doctors solve these issues. This week, we interviewed Dr. Safiyya Shabazz, family medicine specialist in private practice in Philadelphia, PA.
Q: How did you originally find out about Doximity?
A: A colleague actually suggested using Doximity as a way for us to communicate securely, particularly if we needed to discuss confidential patient matters. So I signed up and it’s become an integral tool in my practice.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about Doximity?
A: When I log into Doximity, I am able to keep up with the current trends in my field, whether that is news and insight from other physicians about what's going on in their field, or groundbreaking news about medical developments such as new technology or treatments.
Q: Are there specific features you like to use?
A: There are a couple of features I use the most. Doximity’s newsfeed is very useful for keeping me up to date with current medical information and trends. I also really like the mobile fax feature. In my office, we use an EHR system and can fax documents associated with a patient chart directly from the Doximity app. So we use the fax feature often. I like to take advantage of using Dialer to communicate with my patients. I can set the callerID to my main office line so patients know it’s me calling while protecting my personal cell number.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine, specifically in family medicine?
A: Honestly, I tried to do other things. I have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and I initially avoided going to medical school. I always advise people who I'm mentoring that if you really can’t do anything else and be happy, then you know that medicine is the right career path for you because there are a lot of easier ways to make a living.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you face day-to-day not only as a doctor but as a business owner managing your own practice?
A: Some of my biggest challenges are around owning my own practice. Unfortunately, the industry is moving more towards the industrialization of medicine. I believe having the autonomy and ability to tailor my style of practice to the patients I’m serving makes a big difference in terms of care. In owning my own practice, I’m challenged with needing to constantly stay current with the latest laws and regulations and patient expectations when it comes to accessing technology and information. And I need to do all of this on an independent practice budget. So it is challenging. But it’s also a challenge I look forward to.
Q: What made you decide to take the risk and open your own practice?
A: Well, I actually decided to make the leap into private practice after having left medicine for a couple of years. I was on the faculty at the University of Penn and took a job in industry. After a couple of years, I realized that being a physician is part of my identity. And so it was important to me to get back into medicine.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: As an independent practice, I enjoy having control over my time. I have the flexibility to spend more time with the patients that need it. I can also adjust my hours to meet my personal responsibilities both as a mother and a wife. Those roles are really important to me and I value them.