I joined Suki in mid-March - the same week as Match Day, when medical school graduates across the US find out where they have been "matched" for their post-graduate training. Prior to Match Day, medical students craft a ranked list of where they would like to train, carefully weighing in what matters most to them. Although I am well past my own Match Day, the timing prompted me to reflect on why Suki topped my list.
Purpose and Product - Suki's vision of creating an invisible technology that can deliver providers the information they need, when they need it, spoke to me. At the end of the day, much of my fulfillment as a physician comes from personally connecting with my patients and their loved ones. Zero percent of my fulfillment comes from mining data, clicking through pop-up screens to enter orders, searching for prior medical records, or documenting. There is administrative work involved in any job, but it is hard to describe to those who have not worked on the ground the amount of energy and time required to get the information you need as a clinician. Currently, the Suki AI Assistant helps speed up documentation and other administrative tasks, like pulling information from the EMR. However, Suki aspires to be a true assistant - our product vision is innovative, inspirational, and impactful and we hope to one day enable physicians to do things like pull up a patient’s chest x-ray or call the patient’s emergency contact by simply speaking to Suki. Getting this information to providers’ fingertips frees them the time, mind-space, and energy to connect with patients and make clinical decisions that incorporate not only patients' medical information but their preferences, social contexts, situation, and personal circumstances. Suki can assist faster and more consistently, with less errors, especially at 3:40 AM in the Emergency Department! Artificial intelligence will not only relieve physician burnout, but also decrease medical errors, and improve the quality of care.
Team - A vision is nothing without the team to carry it out. The team at Suki is an amazing amalgam of talent, grit, maturity, and drive. I am so proud to join this impressive and diverse group who have experience innovating and proven track records of success. Sukinis (think zucchini, not bikini!) are bright, thoughtful, inquisitive, curious, and humble. They are straightforward, determined, and down to earth. Joining Suki put me on a team of people who not only excel in their job functions but also in collaboration and teamwork. I am confident this team has the expertise, capability, determination, and focus to build, develop, and ship.
Role - Suki is a company that centers around providers, hence “every pixel in service of the physician.” In my experience, healthtech companies have struggled to figure out how best to integrate providers into the core team and leverage their breadth of experience. Roles tend to involve one, or a combination of building and managing a clinical workforce, ensuring regulatory compliance and fulfilling legal structuring requirements under practice of medicine laws, assisting with marketing, PR, and facilitating introductions, as well as acting as a source of clinical knowledge - either through creation/review of clinical material, or as an informaticist, categorizing and structuring clinical data. Sometimes providers act as internal consultants, or find themselves as product or program managers or operational leaders, roles in which their medical credentials and clinical experience may lend some specialization, but aren’t a critical component of their job.
As a practicing clinical, I feel strongly that my value to an organization lies in my experiences as a clinician. I bring a deep understanding of the day to day challenges and fulfillment experienced by providers, have insight into the practicalities on the ground, and experience working in different healthcare settings and systems. Truly leveraging physicians in healthtech involves more than application of a clinical knowledge base or facilitating clinical operations (although these in their own right are important).
To be successful, companies that develop healthcare technology, strategy and processes, as well as products, need an intimate understanding of the provider experience and context to bridge that gap. As Medical Director at Suki, I have the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to product development, business strategy, and solution implementation in a way that allows me to draw on my experience, knowledge, and practice as a physician in a holistic sense. The fact that Suki was seeking someone for such a role demonstrated that, as a company, it respects, acknowledges, and values providers.
The combination of vision and the product, plus the team and the opportunity all put Suki on the top of my Match list and I’m thrilled to be part of this spectacular team.
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