Friday, December 2, 2011

Doximity quickly becoming the professional LinkedIn for physicians

A few days ago, TechCrunch reported that "With 30K U.S. Doctors Now On Board, Doximity Is Fast Becoming The LinkedIn For Physicians."

Doximity gives physicians a private network through which to connect and collaborate on patient treatment or identify experts for patient referrals.

I'd have to agree. Doximity is led by Jeff Tangney, co-founder and former President & COO of Epocrates.

When I first heard about Doximity, I said to myself, "why another social network for physicians? I don't get it." Then, I got to meet some folks at Doximity and started learning more about the concept and vision. I also got invited to join the Doximity Medical Advisory Board and I witnessed the evolution of the platform and saw new features pop up like iRounds, DocNews, and DocText. I began to really understand and appreciate the value that Doximity offers.

If you care about your online reputation and you're looking for an effective way to market yourself online, then take a look at Doximity. It's free to join, but you'll need to use your real name (no aliases or screen names please). Plus, you'll want to have a professional photo. Sounds like LinkedIn, doesn't it? If you're a physician, you may not be familiar with LinkedIn. So, think about a professional Facebook where you are interacting with other physicians purely for professional purposes. You're providing clinical insights, sharing ideas, referring patients, and discussing relevant clinical and non-clinical topics. Since you're using your real name, you're accountable to what you say, so you're probably going to avoid nonsensical rants and raves, strong political debates, or highly-controversial and sensitive discussions around religion/sex/etc.

Today, when there are so many physician rating sites like HealthGrades, RateMDs, Vitals, and others, physicians care about online reputations and rankings. They like to be listed in "Top Doctors" or "Best Doctor" lists. Patients also like seeing their doctors on these lists and in airplane magazines.

Doximity helps you promote yourself online.

Take a look at Rafael Lugo, MD. He's a surgeon in Texas and you'll see that he has a "Patient's Choice 2010" badge next to his name here:

Here's another example: Howard Luks, MD. He's an orthopedic surgeon in NY and he has several badges: Top Doctor, Most Compassionate Doctor, and Patient's Choice 2010.

So, whether you're in an academic center or in private practice, consider how you can leverage the Internet to build your online reputation. If you've been awarded some type of "Top Doctor" recognition or reward, share that information online using a professional platform like Doximity. Plus, if you're still building your practice, Doximity can help you get more patients and more referrals.

On Doximity, you can also have public or private discussions with other physicians. You can have an open dialogue through iRounds (similar to a Facebook wall at this point), or you can send a private HIPAA-compliant messaging system called DocText (a free secure SMS service if you're using a mobile device).

Finally, remember that Doximity is still in beta, so there are a number of features that haven't been released yet. Plus, you can expect to see ongoing changes, updates, revisions, enhancements, etc.

Full Disclosure: I serve on the Doximity Medical Advisory Board. The opinions shared above are my own. I was not paid to write this article. I am not paid to refer physicians to join Doximity. I have no relevant financial relationships with LinkedIn or physician rating websites.

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