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.