Services: Doximity, Inc.
Jeff Tangney | CEO | Doximity, Inc. | San Francisco, CA | Founded: 2011
Improving health care, one connection at a time
Jeff Tangney’s Doximity network makes it easier for physicians to collaborate.
Jeff Tangney likes to joke that his physician friends call him the “doc whisperer.” But it’s not a joke. Even as a pre-med student, Tangney could see that physicians faced unique and difficult challenges in connecting with each other to benefit patients and build their practices.
For one, even though many physicians spend their days surrounded by patients, nurses and other practitioners, they often feel isolated. Burdened by heavy caseloads and limited by patient confidentiality laws, they have a hard time sharing stories or swapping ideas with doctors from other practices.
Being a doctor today and communicating is quite hard. You can’t use email — can you imagine doing your job without email?
What’s more, disparate medical record systems and antiquated tools like fax machines make it difficult for physicians to collaborate.
Tangney eventually decided not to enter medical school, but he still pursued a career dedicated to improving the lives of doctors and patients. After working as an associate at a small health care company, he created a medical reference guide for mobile devices. He then sold that company and built on the experience to launch Doximity, a social network for the medical community.
Since 2012, more than 1 million medical professionals have signed up for the Doximity network. This includes more than 70% of all physicians in the US, giving Doximity the fastest physician-adoption rate of any software in history.
Helping from the inside
Tangney modeled the Doximity platform after the world’s most successful professional network, LinkedIn. Tailored to the way clinicians work — from CV format to medical specialties — Doximity enables medical professionals to upload their résumé, update their experience, and connect with colleagues from other practices and locations.
With physicians’ daily workflows already crowded by appointments, Doximity integrates its array of tools into one platform. Recognizing that the health care industry still relies heavily on paper, Doximity lets users send and receive faxes on any mobile device anywhere.
“I often joke that in health care, the people who say they’re disrupters are really just disturbances,” Tangney says. “We’ve been humble enough to know that health care is a system that you need to work within. We’ve grown into the biggest network of physicians by focusing on their needs and helping from the inside.”
In addition to enabling better networking and workflows, Doximity employs a team of 30 data scientists who use machine learning to read 300,000 medical journals per week and push customized knowledge to users based on their specialties and areas of interest. To make surethat Doximity content stays on target for physicians, the company also has 17 full-time physicians on staff.
An even more important benefit to physicians, however, is Doximity’s ability to help members access a secure network of confirmed, licensed medical professionals. As a result, physicians know that when they collaborate through Doximity’s secure, HIPAA-compliant platform to discuss patient treatment and identify specialists for patient referrals, they are connecting with legitimate peers and colleagues.
And Doximity is laying a strong foundation for the future. More than 90% of fourth-year medical students are on the platform, positioning Doximity to be an essential resource for the next generation of medical professionals.
A foundation for the future
Tangney is also seeking nontraditional ways to help physicians. He and his wife founded the Doximity Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for US physicians to travel and volunteer their medical services in underserved areas domestically and around the globe.
Through the foundation, licensed medical providers with a verified Doximity profile can submit mission proposals for consideration and receive a grant of up to $2,000 to supplement travel, empowering clinicians to treat patients in need, regardless of geographic location. By expanding physicians’ outlets for pro bono work or medical missions, the foundation hopes to help them reconnect with friends and colleagues and alleviate some of the stress that comes with their profession. Tangney is well aware that the suicide rates for physicians are significantly higher than those of the general population: twice as high for men, and four times as high for women.
Doximity reports an employee turnover rate well below the industry average of 20%, which Tangney attributes to the company policy that allows employees to work remotely and to the fact that they see their work as benefiting society.
In the future, Tangney plans to use the Doximity network to launch a new patient-facing application that helps patients find treatment for less-common diseases. “We’re already the place that doctors go to find other doctors,” he says. “We want to become the place where patients find the right doctor as well.”
Ultimately, Tangney wants to transform the industry, setting the stage for a more efficient health care environment that improves the lives of both doctors and patients.