Physician Outlook_Dr. Dana Corriel

Spotlight on Dr. Dana Corriel

SoMeDocs provides an eye-catching platform for physicians to market themselves that rivals any expensive Madison Avenue firm---all that is requested in return is amplification and engagement, and very modest fees for those who are already established “doctor-preneurs.”

I recently came across a dog-eared business card in the bottom of an old briefcase that opened up a floodgate of memories. It was a brief but pivotal chance encounter with Dr. Dana Corriel several years ago that solidified my entrepreneurial resolve to launch Physician Outlook Magazine.

At the time that she hastily scribbled her social media handles on the back of that card, Dr. Corriel was at the helm of two private "physician-only" Facebook groups that she had founded: Doctors On Social Media, and "As I Picked Up My Stethoscope: Inspiring Stories from Female Physicians." At the time that we met she was still practicing clinical medicine, but was about to bravely pivot from her full-time role as an Internal Medicine specialist to her current role: digital entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Corriel had two very unique goals in mind in the digital space: the first was to create a democratized community where doctors of all genders, ages and specialties could share their expertise and connect with one another and with their patients. Her second objective was the one that really resonated with me: it was to showcase the beauty of the physician-patient relationship in an effort to make medicine appealing as a career for young future physicians.


Why were doctors needing someone to form an online community for them, and why was the practice of medicine becoming less appealing to our youth? There is no one answer, but just as technology's intrusion into everyday life was the theme of the very catchy one-hit-wonder jingle, it is widely believed that Electronic Health Records similarly "killed" the joy of practicing medicine for many physicians. Seemingly overnight, we went from being trusted critically-thinking and respected doctors to generic glorified data entry clerks who administrators called "providers." We were taken off guard, and Dana Corriel had come up with an optimistic solution to our dilemma by creating spaces that would make us shine in the burgeoning social media world. As a "baby-boomer" who graduated medical school in 1989, I grew up around technology and was an early adopter of the many gadgets and devices that revolutionized our world. But like many of my generation, I still reveled in the sensory experience of holding an actual hard-copy book, turning the pages of the Sunday New York Times, and catching up on medical advances through the many magazine-style journals that would pile up in the corner of my office. I initially had very little organic interest in anything to do with "social media."

In fact, the only reason I had stumbled upon private physician Facebook groups in the first place was because I had negotiated a compromise with my then pre-teen daughter. Many of her friends' parents were allowing their children to make pretend they were old enough to have their own accounts. My husband and I decided that she could only have an account if she and I shared one under my name. She would play "Farmville" online with friends, but it was after she went to sleep that I would find myself scrolling through Facebook. It was my guilty pleasure as a reward for the monotony of the never-ending EHR charting responsibilities. It was during this late-night surfing that I first became aware that I was not alone in my disillusionment with the increasingly corporate practice of medicine.

When Dr. Corriel showed me what she was building in the online space, I had my "AHA" moment. I knew that if I could create a "journal-like" physician-lifestyle magazine that could engage physicians of my generation (many of whom did not have a digital footprint), we might be able to effectively engage at least some of my colleagues to join us in our quest to "Take Back Medicine."

I still cannot remember exactly when I first met Dana, but it was likely at one of the pre-pandemic physician-planned gatherings that we first crossed paths. These events were unlike any other boring medical conference I had ever attended. It was so refreshing to be in the company of other physicians, especially the female ones, who recognized that medicine was changing (and not necessarily for the better), and to serve as resources for one another as we juggled careers in medicine and motherhood. Dana and I have continued to collaborate throughout the past few years and I have been impressed with her foresight and talent.


Dr. Corriel was one of the first physician leaders to recognize that it really wasn't JUST technology to blame for physician dissatisfaction. One of the PRIMARY reasons doctors were burning out was because there was no one who was actively MARKETING our profession and our prowess as physician experts. This was not the case amongst other health professions--for example, Nurse Practitioners, through their associations, spend alot of money on lobbying politicians, which is a very effective form of marketing.

The majority of practicing physicians were too busy taking care of patients with our heads buried so deep in the sand that we didn't realize what was happening around us until it was too late to turn back the clock. Legislation and regulations were being instituted that effectively made it impossible for us to market ourselves. Overly punitive and restrictive Stark Laws ban physicians from self-referral in any way shape or form, and the Sunshine Act makes it seem like every doctor who has ever eaten a sandwich or salad sponsored by a drug rep is "on the take" and on payroll for big Pharma.


If transparency and accountability in healthcare had truly been the goal, why weren't hospitals, insurance companies and "big Pharma" subject to similar laws and regulations? In fact, it seems that at the same time that doctors became severely restricted in theIr ability to self-promote, hospital systems started busily marketing themselves as they set their sights on gobbling up smaller community hospitals and private practices on their journeys to becoming kingdom-like oligopolies.

Insurance companies have always had astronomical budgets for promoting themselves and have even been permitted to market themselves directly to vulnerable low income patients, many of whom had never heard of Aetna, Cigna, Humana or United Healthcare before "Medicaid Managed Care" came into existence.

Insurance companies were also quietly merging with or becoming affiliated with the very opaque world of GPOS, short for "Group Purchasing Organizations" and Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBM's) who, like "Mafia bosses," control the price of every prescription medication we write for. We all know that pharmaceutical advertisers market directly to patients, and they do so quite effectively via expensive multi-media campaigns. Patients come in to appointments requesting expensive brand-name drugs by name, often armed with "free manufacturer" coupons that they demand their doctors write for.


Was there anyone who was promoting physicians as a group in a transparent fashion (in other words, not for their own financial gain)?

NOT A SINGLE SOUL until Dr. Corriel came along and birthed SoMeDocs.

Through SoMeDocs, Dana graciously provides us all of the tools we need as physicians to get started in the social media space, or to expand the footprint we have already created. There are portals for physician coaches, podcasters, book authors, bloggers, article writers, and brand new in 2022 is the much-awaited Speakers' Bureau.

SoMeDocs provides an eye-catching platform for physicians to market themselves that rivals any expensive Madison Avenue firm---all that is requested in return is amplification and engagement, and very modest fees for those who are already established “doctor-preneurs.”

In my role as a publisher and influencer I have the opportunity to interact with many physician leaders. I have encountered few who are as talented, devoted, benevolent and transparent as Dr. Dana Corriel.

She has made it her life’s mission to help physicians shine, but rarely does she allow that spotlight to be turned back on her. We greatly appreciate the communities and platforms that Dr. Corriel has created, and encourage all physicians to support her as she amplifies the beauty and artistry of our noble profession.


Dr. Dana Corriel

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