Even Doctors Get the Blues: Medstro Provides Social Network of Support


Jennifer Joe, MD

Jennifer Joe, MD, a Harvard-trained nephrologist, realized after four years of college, four years of medical school, three years of residency and two years of a nephrology fellowship, that she had never been taught how to actually start her career … to find the job that was right for her.  That is when Dr. Joe decided she needed to do something creative.  She and colleagues Jim Ryan and John Bachir founded Medstro, the social network for doctors and medical students.  The site was designed to foster a sense of community and to help young physicians and medical students support each other, find mentors, and navigate their careers.

Medstro not only encourages online connections and collaborations, it has also launched competitive events.  Medstro collaborated with Google last year to sponsor the Wearables in Health Care Pilot Challenge, which put out a call for ideas on how wearables could be used in a clinical setting to benefit patients, physicians, and healthcare workers.  Finalists competed in a pitch-off at the Google Cambridge Headquarters.

Medstro has also collaborated with NEJM Group to provide a social media platform for physicians to collaborate, get advice, or just chat.  The NEJM Group Open Forum offers a series of live discussions of important, sometimes controversial, topics.  Members are encouraged to participate in the discussion, to ask questions of the authors and experts and to offer comments.  A wide range of topics covers modern medicine, innovative research and career development.  Past discussions have included renal-relevant topics such as Survival Benefit with Kidney Transplants from HLS-Incompatible Live Donors (July 20-29, 2016),  Initiation Strategies for Renal-Replacement Therapy in the Intensive Care Unit (July 6-16, 2016), and Nivolumab versus Everolimus in Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma & Targeting an Immune Checkpoint or Multiple Kinases (Nov 4-13, 2015). medstro

Using the number of “views” to gauge the popularity of the topics, most discussions get an average of an impressive 2,000 – 5,000 views; however, the topics Physician Burnout (March 23-April 1, 2016) and Managing Medical Education Debt had more than 15,000 and 37,000 views, respectively.  The popularity of these very personal subjects gives testimony to Dr. Joe’s vision of providing a true support group for physicians.

More on Dr. Joe and Medstro can be found here.