6 physician social networks at a glance: Doximity

Site: Doximity

Created: 2010

CEO: Jeff Tangney

Number of members: 22,000

Target audience: All U.S. physicians

About the network: If any site has the potential to supplant Sermo as king of the physician social networking hill, Doximity is it. At its outset, the site garnered rave reviews from healthcare social media experts. It functions more like LinkedIn than Facebook in that it connects colleagues, primarily for communications purposes. 

"Today, a lot of the cost of medical care, and a lot of the errors in medical care are due to communication breakdowns," Tangney told FierceMobileHealthcare in March after the site's official launch. "Basically, Doximity links medical professionals through a secure platform, which makes it easier to provide faster, smarter treatments."

The network also boasts mobile capabilities via both the iPhone and Android platforms, a key to success, according to Tangney.

"I think physicians have, more so than most professionals, a very mobile career," Tangney told FierceMobileHealthcare. "They go from clinic to hospital to clinic to lab; that's part of their job. Who needs information more than physicians?"

Howard Luks, chief medical officer of iMedExchange, calls the data used by Doximity "phenomenal," but he still believes it will take some time for the platform to truly become as indispensable as a site like Facebook. 

"I think Jeff has a good idea, and so far they're executing it well," Luks says. "But we'll see. For this to work as a model, where physicians can ask for an opinion on a patient, etc., it really needs to scale to the point where 80 to 85 percent of physicians are on board."