The Doctor is Out
By Sharif Vakili
About the host: Sharif is a venture investor at Polaris Partners and a physician at Stanford Hospital. He holds an MD from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from Harvard, and an MS and BS from Yale.
The Doctor is OutMay 31, 2023
S4E10: Julie Gerberding - Championing Public Health
We close out the fourth season with Dr. Julie Gerberding, the former CDC director, the current CEO of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and one of the pre-eminent infectious disease physicians in the country.
In this interview, we discuss pursuing a career in public health, lessons learned from leading the country as CDC director during prior SARS outbreaks, anthrax attacks, the H1N1 influenza virus, and parallels between Dr. Gerberding's career start during the AIDS epidemic and young professionals pursuing public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We then dive into the role of spearheading global health at a large pharmaceutical company during Dr. Gerberding's role as Chief Patient Officer at Merck. We end the conversation discussing the Foundation for the NIH and solutions enabled by public-private partnerships in scientific discovery and global health.
Throughout the conversation, we explore the importance of proactive measures, collaborative efforts, and equitable approaches to protect and promote the well-being of individuals and communities around the world.
S4E09: Jess Mega - Academia to Private Industry
Dr. Jess Mega, a prominent practicing cardiologist and healthcare executive, joins the podcast to discuss her career in patient care, clinical trials, and healthcare innovation. With her experience as a Harvard and Stanford Cardiologist, founder of Verily Life Sciences, a CMO and CSO of Verily, and a member of the board of the Danaher Corporation, Dr. Mega provides valuable insights into developing a career in both academia and private industry. Join for a conversation on getting involved with clinical trials, industry partnerships, and being a successful board director.
S4E08: Thomas Insel - Mental Health Access
We are joined by Dr. Thomas Insel, a psychiatrist, author and neuroscientist who is a leading expert on mental health. Dr. Insel is the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health and founder of Vanna Health-- a startup that aims to expand access to comprehensive care for serious mental illness.
We start the conversation by discussing the state of mental health access in the United States and the challenges that individuals and communities face when seeking treatment. Dr. Insel shares his insights on the shortage of mental health providers, the stigma associated with mental illness, and the barriers that prevent people from accessing care. We then dive into the solutions to improve access to care and how future physicians interested in mental health can help contribute more broadly to the field. Throughout the conversation, we explore the complex intersection of mental health, technology, and policy, and Dr. Insel shares his vision for a future where mental health is a priority and accessible to all.
S4E07: Michael Pfeffer - Clinical Informatics and Adopting Healthcare Technology
Stanford Health Care Chief Information Officer and internal medicine physician Dr. Michael Pfeffer discusses the role of a CIO at a large health system, clinical informatics, and adopting technology solutions in healthcare. Join for a conversation on accelerants and barriers toward technology innovations in healthcare and advice for entrepreneurs looking to build and sell healthcare technology solutions aimed at large health systems.
S4E06: Michael Howell - Clinical Medicine in Big Tech
Google Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Michael Howell joins this week for a conversation on building clinical careers in tech and the role of big tech companies like Alphabet in healthcare. In this interview, Howell discusses his recent piece in NEJM Catalyst on building successful clinical teams in large tech companies and the role of clinical teams in the tech industry. Join for a conversation on fostering cultural shifts from clinicians as collaborators to healthcare innovators.
Read Howell's recent NEJM Catalyst article here: https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/CAT.22.0440
S4E05: Jeffrey Kang - Ushering Value Based Care
Dr. Jeffrey Kang– Geriatrician, former CMO of CMS, former CMO of Cigna, former executive at Walgreens and ChenMed, and now CEO of at-home primary care startup Wellbe Senior Medical– joins for an in-depth conversation on how to usher value based care innovations in the healthcare system. As the first Chief Medical Officer of CMS, Kang pioneered HCC codes, HEDIS and CAHPS metrics, and much of the foundation of value based care in the United States. Join for a discussion on the role of private equity vs venture funding in disruptive healthcare entrepreneurship, the future of primary care, and health system reforms needed in value-based care. During the conversation, Kang discusses novel ideas around risk adjustment coding in Medicare Advantage, which he outlined in a Health Affairs article in response to the landmark piece by Dr. Don Berwick (S3E1) and Dr. Rick Gilfillan. You can find his article here: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/forefront.20220706.909897/full/
S4E04: Patrick Carroll - Consumer Driven Healthcare
Dr. Patrick Carroll, Family Medicine Physician and Chief Medical Officer of Hims & Hers, joins for an enriching conversation on consumer-driven healthcare, population health and value-based care. Carroll discusses his journey starting out as a primary care physician working with the Indian Health Service and extending that ground level work to become a leader in population health as Chief Medical Officer Atrius Health and later Chief Medical Officer of Walgreens, where he was involved in Walgreens' acquisition of Village MD. Caroll also discusses his role as Chief Medical Officer of Hims & Hers, building an engine for healthcare disruption through direct to consumer healthcare and consumer driven healthcare at Hims & Hers. Listen in for an enriching discussion on direct to consumer business models in healthcare, the future of clinically integrated online pharmacies like Hims & Hers, Thirty Madison, and Amazon Clinic, and the future roles of nonclinical online pharmacies like Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drugs.
S4E03: Amira Barkal - Commercializing Science During Clinical Training
Physician scientist and oncologist in training Dr. Amira Barkal discusses her extraordinary journey commercializing scientific discoveries she made with Dr. Irving Weissman during MD/PhD at Stanford. Barkal went on to raise $76M as founder and CEO of Pheast Therapeutics, all while completing her residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Join for a conversation around finding courage to start a company as a scientific founder, navigating being a founder CEO, and operating a biotech startup during clinical training.
S4E02: Paul Rothman - Reflections of an Academic Medical Center CEO
Physician scientist and rheumatologist Dr. Paul Rothman joins for a reflective conversation as he completes his 10 year tenure as CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Join for a rich discussion on leadership, management, navigating transitions from medical to administrative careers, and the skills necessary to become a leader in healthcare.
S4E01: David Mou - Leading through Challenges
Dr. David Mou, the CEO and former CMO of the telehealth psychiatry startup Cerebral, discusses guiding his company through DOJ investigations into controlled substance prescribing practices and market headwinds months after raising a $300M Series C at a $4.8B valuation. A Harvard-trained psychiatrist, Mou has a conversation about Cerebral's mission, building trust through clinical quality, and stepping up to navigate the company after its CEO was removed.
S3E10: Aaron Ring - Becoming a Scientific Founder
Yale Immunobiology Professor and Scientific Founder of Simcha Therapeutics and Seranova Bio, Dr. Aaron Ring, discusses his journey starting a lab spinning out companies building therapeutics for patients right out of his MD/PhD program. We close out the final episode of the season with a conversation around generating leading science with translational potential, spinning out biotech companies, finding a management team, and the relationship between investors and scientific founders in biotech.
S3E09: Niraj Sehgal - Becoming a Health System CMO
Internist, Professor and Stanford Health Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Niraj Sehgal joins for the first in-person conversation since the pandemic started on what it means to be Chief Medical Officer of an Academic Medical System, his journey becoming the Chief Quality Officer of the UCSF Health System and Chief Medical Officer of Stanford Health Care, and the role of hospital administration in tackling the big challenges facing the US healthcare system. Join for an engaging conversation around hospital leadership, healthcare reform, and disruption risks for provider systems from a career educator and healthcare leader.
Explore differences between a health system CMO, a biotech CMO, and a health IT CMO through other TDIO episodes!
Learn more about the biotech CMO path here: https://anchor.fm/tdio/episodes/S1E10-Breaking-into-Biotech---Angela-Shen-etocs0
Learn more about the health IT CMO path here: https://anchor.fm/tdio/episodes/S2E03-Disrupting-Mental-Health---Connie-Chen-e15ksf0
S3E08: Nzinga Harrison - Activism through Entrepreneurship
Can systemic social challenges in healthcare be tackled by a for-profit business? Can entrepreneurship be a force to do well and good in healthcare?
Eleanor Health Chief Medical Officer, Psychiatrist and cofounder of Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform Dr. Nzinga Harrison discusses her career championing health equity and activism through entrepreneurship. Join for a conversation around value-based care in mental health, risk-based contracts designed to serve the most vulnerable patients with substance abuse, and innovations tackling social determinants of health.
Check out Dr. Nzinga Harrison's In Recovery Podcast here: https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/in-recovery/
S3E07: Gary Gottlieb - A Journey of Leadership
In this episode, we go into the remarkable career journey of Dr. Gary Gottlieb, who went from his practice as a Geriatric Psychiatrist to become a national healthcare leader as the former CEO of the Partners Healthcare System, the former President of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the former CEO of Partners in Health, and now an Executive Partner at Flare Capital serving on the boards of prominent healthcare startups.
Join for an inspiring story of a journey through healthcare leadership, leading change in psychiatric care, a discussion on where academic health systems should watch out for disruption from the startup sector, and key lessons for trainees reflecting on a storied career in leadership.
S3E06: Michelle Longmire - From Physician Innovator to CEO
Is formal business training necessary to build an impactful company as a physician? Is it possible to start a successful company during clinical training?
Medable CEO and Dermatologist Dr. Michelle Longmire discusses her journey defying conformity and stereotypes to become one of healthcare's pre-eminent physician leaders building a disruptive $2B startup transforming the way clinical trials are conducted. Join for a broad-ranging conversation on being an entrepreneurial outsider, starting a company during clinical training, decentralized clinical trials, SPACs and the commercialization of personalized medicines.
S3E05: Kevin Pho - Content Creation
What does it mean to be a content creator as a physician?
KevinMD founder and primary care physician Dr. Kevin Pho discusses his career as a physician social media influencer and editor of the Medpage blog KevinMD. Join for a conversation around how "the definition of what a doctor does is changing" and counteracting burnout in clinical practice.
S3E04: Shiv Gaglani and Sievert Weiss - Ed Tech Innovation
How do you innovate as an entrepreneur in medical education?
Join for a conversation with Osmosis Founder and CEO Shiv Gaglani and Amboss Founder Dr. Sievert Weiss on a conversation around building a startup in medical education. Learn about each entrepreneur's unique path into ed tech, the business model of education, the calculus of stepping away from medical school or clinical medicine to build a company, and how to transform passions in medical education into companies reaching millions of students globally.
Check out as well the Osmosis podcast here: www.osmosis.org/raisethelinepodcast.
S3E03: Alexi Nazem - Front Line Entrepreneurship
What happens when you disrupt the healthcare workforce industry while it is being disrupted by a global pandemic?
Dr. Alexi Nazem, the CEO of Nomad Health, discusses his role leading Nomad to modernize the travel nursing industry right at a time of unprecedented need, extraordinary uncertainty and recurrent staffing crises. From death-defying moments to leading through breakneck growth, Nazem describes his journey doing to the travel nursing industry what Travelocity did to travel agencies.
Join also for a conversation around the strengths and weaknesses of medicine's leadership training, pursuing both clinical practice and entrepreneurship, and the "Brownian motion" at the heart of company creation.
S3E02: Elisabeth Rosenthal - The Business of Medicine
Can we create incentives to make medicine do the right thing? Is healthcare a public good or a commodity?
Join for a conversation around the business of medicine with Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief, NY Times Contributor and author of "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back". Learn about Elisabeth's journey toward becoming an author and journalist, and her recommendations for what can be done to bring reform to the healthcare system.
S3E01: Donald Berwick - Fixing Medicare Advantage and Value Based Care
Is Medicare Advantage delivering on its promise of higher quality, lower cost care or has it become an overlooked vehicle for arbitrage with tax payers stuck with the bill?
Dr. Donald Berwick, the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who served during the Obama Administration shortly after the ACA passage, joins for the first episode of the season to discuss the "Medicare Money Machine" that has led value based care Medicare Advantage plans to cost ~$140B more than traditional fee for service plans over the past 12 years. Join for a riveting conversation around emerging challenges in value based care and how to address them in next generation contracts.
Join also for a discussion on what it was like to be CMS Administrator, the value of an MPP in medicine, as well as the "growth that happens at the intersections" of disciplines that can lead to career development.
Read Dr. Berwick's recent publication with former Trinity Health CEO and first CMMI Director Dr. Richard Gilfillan in Health Affairs here: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20210927.6239/full/.
S2E04: Alex Harding - Biotech Investing, Entrepreneurship and Drug Pricing
Is it possible for market competition to lower drug prices in pharma, or are we resigned to ever-increasing prices with each new biotech innovation? Dr. Alex Harding, biotech venture capitalist at Atlas Ventures, VP of Business Development and Corporate Strategy at Remix Therapeutics and MGH internal medicine physician, joins for a multifaceted conversation around drug pricing, being a practicing physician in biotech VC, and life sciences entrepreneurship. A contributor to the biotech newsletter the Timmerman Report, Alex discusses his recent report on the disruptive drug discovery startup, EQRx, that is contending to radically lower drug prices. Join for a thought-provoking conversation around the consequences of EQRx’s business model and the challenges with market-based drug pricing reform in the United States.
This episode marks the end of the summer interseason. The Doctor is Out will be back in a few months after a short break.
S2E03: Connie Chen - Disrupting Mental Health
Dr. Connie Chen, the Chief Operating Officer and former Chief Medical Officer of Lyra Health, discusses her journey building one of the fastest-growing healthcare startups disrupting Mental Health, growing from a $180M company to a $4.6B company in 30 months. Join for a dynamic conversation on entering entrepreneurship as a physician, the role of a CMO and COO at a healthcare startup, recent hot investment activity in mental health, and the disruptive changes coming to how mental health will be delivered and accessed in the United States.
S2E02: Andrew Beck - From Physician Scientist to CEO
PathAI CEO Dr. Andrew Beck discusses how he went from a career as a physician scientist to the CEO of one of the most formative Pathology AI startups in Medicine. Hear the story of a pathologist who uses the catalyst of winning a premier AI pathology research competition to build the leading pathology AI company that's raised $255M from investors across the healthcare services and pharma industries including Polaris Partners, General Catalyst, Kaiser Permanente, Bristol Myers Squibb, Labcorp and Merck's Global Health Innovation Fund.
S2E01: Robert Pearl – Reforming the Culture of Medicine
Dr. Robert Pearl, the former CEO of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and Faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, joins for a discussion on becoming the CEO of the nation's largest medical group and reforming the culture of medicine.
Discussing his recent book Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors & Patients, Robert provides a deep analysis of physician culture, both its beauty and dark underbelly. Join for an engaging conversation with one of the key leaders in healthcare on how to navigate the culture of medicine, and what it means for innovation and reform in healthcare.
S1E11: Eric Topol - Leading Medicine
Dr. Eric Topol, Cardiologist and the Director of the Scripps Translational Institute, discusses his path becoming one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine and one of the most impactful leading voices in medicine. We close out season 1 with Eric’s story on building a successful career in academia that extends beyond the immediate scopes of clinical practice to become a leading thinker across several transformative movements in medicine.
S1E10: Angela Shen - Breaking into Biotech
Dr. Angela Shen, currently the Chief Medical Officer at Arcellx, discusses her journey going from becoming a surgeon to developing novel cancer drugs and serving as Chief Medical Officer of four successful biotech companies. Join for a fun and engaging conversation around what it means to be the Chief Medical Officer of a biotech/pharma startup, breaking into the biotech industry, the difficulties letting go of clinical practice, and the considerations of leaving medical practice to enter industry.
S1E09: Armin Feldman - Medical Legal Consulting
In this episode, we learn about the practice of medical legal consulting from Psychiatrist and professional Medical Legal Consultant Dr. Armin Feldman. Join for an informative discussion exploring this unique niche adjacent to medicine, and learn the story of a doctor who went from advocating for his traumatic brain injury patients' medical legal cases to building a field helping and training others to do similarly with scale.
S1E08: Sumbul Desai - Becoming a Tech Executive
Apple VP of Health and Stanford Clinical Professor, Dr. Sumbul Desai, discusses her journey through medicine after a career in journalism at ABC News and Strategy at Disney. Sumbul shares her heartwarming story behind her career in medicine, journalism, and media to become a tech executive spearheading Apple's work in health and wellness. Join for an conversation around indirect paths through medicine, the potential traps of BA/MD programs, becoming a tech executive from medicine without an MBA, and more.
S1E07: Simeon George - Venture Capital
SR One Capital Management CEO Dr. Simeon George provides insights into the path of becoming a venture capitalist. An investor with a storied track record serving on the boards of companies including CRISPR Therapeutics, Nkarta, Progeny and Turning Point Therapeutics, Simeon discusses challenges and opportunities he faces spinning out the 36-year old firm from GSK recently launching SR One's first independent $500M fund. Join for a very special discussion around breaking into venture capital, the values of residency and an MBA in the field, and what it means to be a VC.
S1E06: Vivian Lee - Fixing Healthcare
Verily Health Platforms President and former University of Utah Health System CEO, Dr. Vivian Lee, discusses "fixing" US healthcare through health policy, entrepreneurship and digital health. Join for an interview of a physician who discusses her path pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Oxford, an MD from Harvard, entering surgery residency, pivoting to radiology residency, then pursuing an MBA and ultimately entering healthcare administration.
S1E05: Nisha Mehta - Physician Side Gigs
Dr. Nisha Mehta discusses her lessons as founder of the 115,000-member online physician community, “Physician Side Gigs”. Join Nisha for an important conversation on career longevity, burnout and ways to create "life in medicine on your own terms".
S1E04: Bob Harrington - Chairing a Department and Running a Nonprofit
Dr. Bob Harrington, the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford and former American Heart Association President, discusses what it means to be the Chair of a large academic department and the President of a prominent medical nonprofit organization.
S1E03: Sachin Jain - Becoming a Health System CEO
SCAN Group and Health Plan CEO, Dr. Sachin Jain, discusses the "left turns" he took to become CEO of two large health systems and help launch the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation all within the time it can sometimes take to finish fellowship. Join for a discussion around healthcare management, health policy, the MD/MBA pathway and getting out of the "PGY mindset".
S1E02: Paul Farmer and Arthur Kleinman - Medical Anthropology
Join Sharif with a very special guest co-host, Dr. Nick Cuneo, in an interview with the fathers of medical anthropology, Dr. Arthur Kleinman and Dr. Paul Farmer, as they discuss what it means to build an academic discipline. Sharif and Nick explore Paul and Arthur's special mentee/mentor relationship and discuss how their works have built on each other to advance social medicine.
S1E01: Rushika Fernandapulle - Disruptive Entrepreneurship
Iora Health co-founder and CEO Dr. Rushika Fernandapulle discusses his journey launching a disruptive venture-backed primary care organization helping push US healthcare away from fee-for-service and toward value-based care.
S0E0: Introducing: The Doctor is Out
Welcome to The Doctor Is Out, a podcast hosted by Dr. Sharif Vakili, resident physician at Stanford Hospital and investor at Polaris Partners. Join Sharif in exploring the nonclinical practice of medicine as he interviews healthcare leaders who have gone from bedside to build companies, run health systems, spearhead public policy and much more.