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MDs in tech. industry

Discussion in 'Tech: Medical Apps, iOS, Android, medical devices' started by chucktown, May 5, 2012.

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  1. chucktown

    chucktown 7+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Anyone know of any MD grads that are working in the tech industry? With the advent of tablet computing and powerful smart phones, it seems companies that create medical apps would need physicians on staff. Anyone have any examples?
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  3. DOctorJay

    DOctorJay 10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2004
    Practice Fusion has physicians on staff
  4. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

  5. Groove

    Groove Member 10+ Year Member

    May 3, 2004
    I have a strong interest in this as my previous career was in tech industry but after extensive and exhaustive research as well as talking to physicians working in the field of health informatics and other niche positions, there are significant deterrents if you want to work in the field as full time.

    From the basic point of view, look at it this way... I was paid a decent amount (good amount from my point of view) in the tech industry. We're talking maybe...low 6 figures. I was very happy with the pay, and honestly would be happy with that type of pay if I did not have astronomical loans to pay off. So there in lies your dilemma. There are copious opportunities for an MD to work in the tech industry. In fact, there is a huge need for this. Some of the others have mentioned a few... Bioinformatics, health informatics, CMIO positions, even just working as a physician and being on a few DIS committtees can be fulfilling. However, nothing and I mean nothing will replace the amount of money you can generate by being a clinician...period. Unless you were a software developer who came out with a new EHR system and marketed it to make a billion. So, you're best bet is to dabble in the field while you remain a clinician but don't have high hopes of making it full time because you will likely get overworked and not be making the amount of money you need to generate unless you work more clinical shifts.

    It's a big field, with lots of opportunities. There are many health informatics or bioinformatics related fellowships if you are so interested, and I talked to several fellowship directors only to come to the conclusion that it was not a prudent decision in my case, especially if you have a great deal of prior experience whether it's health related or not.

    Capitalize on opportunities during residency to get involved and try to get a feel for what you want to dabble in post residency. I plan on spending some time with our CMIO who is also a hospitalist during my last year as that's more of what I'm interested in although I enjoy developing and have a few projects on the side. Don't let it get in the way of your residency training though as that should always come first.

    Hope that helps.
  6. 88845

    88845 Guest 7+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    Interesting. I wasn't aware that fellowship opportunities exist. I'm wondering if an MD interested in bioinformatics, health informatics, etc. would need to know how to program.
  7. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

    It depends what you mean. Write some fancy SQL code? Do some Perl or Python scripting to munge data formats and extract bits of information from the data repository? Made changes in the scripting of preferences for the EMR?

    A CMIO should be able to at least the rudiments of many of those things.

    Paid medical informatics fellowships:

    Lots of educational programs at places like OHSU.

    Details of the new informatics sub specialty:


    Likely to be a CMIO of the future you will need this.
  8. LiveLoveLearn

    LiveLoveLearn 2+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2013
    I worked at an EMR company before deciding to go for medical school, and they had several physicians on staff. They were very useful in both assisting with the design of the software and working directly with physicians at prospective clients to understand their needs and work towards accomplishing them. They are treated like royalty there, and I would be very surprised if they were not compensated very well.
  9. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted" Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2000
    sodom, south georgia
    there are a growing number of opportunities for those with medical training to work in industry. med-tech fusion is become more and more important. those trained in medicine have a unique and non-replaceable set of experiences which can be used to guide tech development towards outcomes which are more likely to be adopted in practice.

    it's easy to forget how specialized tech information really is. new technologies simply aren't useful if the target consumers are unable or unwilling to embrace new developments. the need spans from basic science research, to biomedical informatics, to end-user application and interface development. in general physicians are creatures of experience and kind of obstinate about embracing new modalities.

    if you can deliver results, you can do well in this area.
  10. BKN89

    BKN89 5+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Interestingly, There are a few schools that have begun to offer programs and dual degrees that are designed to teach medical students how to interface with the med tech industry or even jump-start a career in it. Duke just started a master's in clinical informatics program that med students can take. I think Michigan has some similar ones too. The most well known is probably Harvard-MITs HST program. USC has recently started one of their own called the HTE program.

    Look up Eric Topol, he's very into genomics, bioinformatics, and digital tech. Dr. Joseph Kim, who is fairly active on this forum, runs several websites about medical technology. Leslie Saxon, chief of cardiology at USC, is heavily involved in wireless medicine via the center for body computing.

    Rockhealth, Medgadget, are good blogs to follow if you want to learn just how varied a physicians career can be in the med tech industry. Granted, not all the companies that are talked about on these blogs are run by or involve MDs.

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