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A social network could actually help your doctor give you better care.

Doximity’s physician network doubled in size last year to 250,000 members, outstripping even the American Medical Association in terms of numbers.

Its free network now reaches 35 percent of all doctors in the U.S., which CEO Jeff Tangney said is a “significant tipping point.”

doximity“This essentially means Doximity will get doctors the answers they want faster, and more reliably, than a simple Google search,” Tangney told VentureBeat. “Doctors can ask a critical mass of their peers any number of questions ranging from drug interactions to specialist advice, and it points to the demand and hunger for specialized, vertical social networks that meet an unmet need.”

Doximity has consistently grown since its launch in 2011, and it’s added a number of new features to make it much more than a “Facebook or LinkedIn for doctors.” In 2013 alone, the company built a recruiting tool called Talent Finder, released an API to enable easy authentication, launched a “digital fax line,” and rolled out a continuing medical education (CME) platform.

Medicine is a collaborative profession. Doctors and other medical care providers rely on communication with their peers to get expert advice, ask questions, coordinate patient care, and discuss difficult cases. But medical communication is extremely sensitive and highly regulated, so it happened primarily offline for a long time.

That is beginning to change now as tech startups like Doximity create secure, HIPAA (Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act)-compliant, doctors-only places for them to connect online. Tangney said saves them “precious” time and reduces the “burden” of paperwork, which is increasingly important now that the Affordable Care Act is kicking in and millions more people have access to medical care.

“With Obamacare and baby boomers filling patient waiting rooms, maintaining a high standard of care demands ever greater efficiency from our health care professionals,” Tangney said. “Doctors need a secure way to connect and collaborate.”

More than 10,000 physician-to-physician messages are now sent daily through the site. Fifty-plus third-party sites use Doximity’s login API, and 200 paying clients are using TalentFinder, which facilitated 70,000 consulting and career offers to physicians. 

Tangney said most of the platform’s growth has been grassroots — doctors telling doctors .

Prior to founding Doximity, Tangney was the founder of Epocrates, a San Francisco Bay area company that develops mobile health applications. Doximity is based in San Mateo, Calif., and has raised just shy of $30 million from Emergence Capital Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, and InterWest Ventures.

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