QuantiaMD Opens Social Network For Medical Residents
Online community lets residents view case presentations, ask questions and exchange best practices with peers, using PCs, tablets and smartphones.
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QuantiaMD, an online physician community and collaboration platform that claims 160,000 members, recently announced a Resident Exchange to help young doctors share knowledge, ask questions and discuss issues related to medicine and medical practice.
The core of the Resident Exchange is a national library that includes a series of brief, high-impact case presentations by chief residents. The site also includes specialized opportunities for residents to do social networking.
The company's partner in the venture, according to QuantiaMD, is the National Chief Residents Consortium (CRC), an alliance of internal medicine chief residents. The Resident Exchange has also been endorsed by the New York chapter of the American College of Physicians, said Kelly Choi, MD, VP of payer and provider markets for QuantiaMD.
The residency section of QuantiaMD's social networking site grew out of discussions between Choi and Niket Sonpal, MD, who will become chief resident at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York in 2013-2014. Choi realized that residency training had not changed much since she had gone through it in the late 1990s. It was still based largely on live experience and lectures. It did not take advantage of the new communication technologies or address the many non-medical issues today's residents will have to face in the rapidly changing healthcare environment, she said.
Young physicians, she pointed out, are highly oriented to mobile devices, so the Resident Exchange is available on smartphones and tablets. In addition, she noted, peer-group support is very important to residents, who are going through a difficult, high-pressure period of their lives. "Enabling a higher level of social interactivity is a key objective," Choi noted.
Part of that peer-to-peer interaction is provided by the comments on the case presentations, she pointed out. In addition, members of the Resident Exchange can start a discussion on any topic -- even if it is not directly related to medicine. For example, she said, residents might wish to express their thoughts on work hours. Residents can also use QuantiaMD for private discussions with other clinicians, including consults on real patient cases, on "HIPAA-secure servers," she added.
Sometime next year, Choi said, QuantiaMD will add preparation materials to help residents pass their board certification exams. It is also considering other sections on career planning, job interviews and resumes, employment contracts, leadership skills, and perhaps even financial planning.
"The first step is to get the basics in an environment that supplements what they're trying to do in their training. There are also ways to help meet their needs once they finish residency."
Among other things, the Resident Exchange is designed to give chief residents a national platform for their educational materials; provide residents with the ability to connect with peers in their local area and across the nation to share best practices; and give residents exposure to types of cases they might not see very often in their own geographical areas.
Since gaining a foothold in New York, the Resident Exchange has spread to South Carolina, Texas and New Jersey, according to QuantiaMD. The company is trying to promote it through both formal and informal channels, including Facebook. Choi said she has received a number of inquiries from residency program directors and resident recruiting managers in large healthcare systems.
QuantiaMD limits membership to physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. While those professionals can join the network for free, QuantiaMD does a variety of paid work for healthcare systems and health plans, "including building private communities and engaging and aligning their physicians around important measures and initiatives," Choi said.