Physician Skills Profile

Posted on February 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I was cruising around LinkedIn and took a second to look at my LinkedIn profile. Turns out I still need to add a few things to my profile. It’s hard to keep up with stuff like that. However, what I found most intriguing was the somewhat recently added Skills section on LinkedIn profiles. I’ve known about them since the beginning, but I hadn’t really looked how skills were being described by other members of the community. In fact, I purposefully tried not to influence people’s recommendations of my skills. I wanted to see which skills they would identify. Here’s what the results are as of today:
LinkedIn Skills Profile
I find the results quite intriguing and I’m happy to say that the people on LinkedIn did a pretty good job profiling and endorsing my skills. The top skills are: Healthcare Information Technology, SEO, Blogging, EMR, and Social Media. That’s a pretty fair representation of my top skills. I live, eat, sleep and breathe those things every day. I am sad that Entrepreneurship wasn’t on the list, but maybe that’s not a skill people think about. I’m surprised that compassionate and caring didn’t make the list either;-)

As I think about that skills profile and the post about Physician Ranking Websites I did on EMR and HIPAA, I wonder if it would be valuable to allow people to endorse physician’s skills. I wonder if any doctor has tried to do this on LinkedIn and what that would look like. I know for example I could endorse my wife’s OB/GYN for a number of things that she did really well.

I like the idea of endorsement rather than ranking or review. In many ways it’s a subtle difference, but it’s an important difference. Besides the fact that the endorsements are simple to do and so there’s a greater chance that you’ll get more people involved, it also avoids some of the flame wars that can occur with physician review sites. Plus, the idea of physician rankings assumes that one is better than another when the fact might be that both doctors are great.

I also love the idea of having someone’s profile linked to their endorsement. This is partially where it can break down in healthcare. Some people with cancer might not want to endorse their oncologist if they haven’t told people they know about their cancer. Not to mention the potential big brother issues.

However, this isn’t the case with many doctors. For example, I don’t know how many times people haven’t asked my wife and I for a recommendation of a pediatrician or primary care doctor. We of course tell them which ones we’ve liked and which ones we didn’t like so much and why. Now imagine you could do something similar across all of your friends and associates.

I’m sure there’s potential for gaming this system and there’s other unintended consequences to this as well. Although, it intrigued me how well my LinkedIn contacts were able to identify my skills. I wonder if something similar could be done with doctors. Maybe Doximity could do something like this, but only doctors would be able to endorse other doctor’s skills. Although, as I said in my article linked above, even many doctors don’t know how good other doctors are. Depends on how often and in what ways they interact with the other doctors.