I first scratched the itch to start companies in 1975 at age 26, when a partner and I borrowed money and bought Hospital Physician magazine from the Medical Economics Company. The following year, we started Physician Assistant magazine. Both titles were popular and remained in print for decades. The company was sold in 1977.
In 1981 I raised venture capital from VC legend Alan Patricof
, and started SCP Communications, Inc, the birthplace of Medscape
. From day 1, in the pre-personal computer era, SCP was an open-office electronic community: sales, editorial, production and finance groups had networked editing access to core information and work processes, a wiki-like world, way back in 1982. A decade later, as soon as the Internet was open to the public, SCP was on it, with the domain scp.com
. In 2003 the CME and publishing assets of SCP (including several of America’s best-read independent clinical journals in the fields of primary care, oncology, and infectious disease) were sold to CMP Media.
In 1995, in the early days of the web, SCP launched Medscape. We studied and learned the rapidly-evolving technology, and used our insights into the real-world conditions in healthcare to develop a product clinicians would love. We created a business and advertising model, raised money, and established content relationships with hundreds of companies and leading medical journals…all at warp speed.
And we did it! Medscape, now wholly owned by WebMD (my relationship with the site ended in 2002), remains the most visited professional medical website in the world, with 16 to 20 million regular users, many times the reach to clinicians of publications like The New England Journal of Medicine.
An enduring interest of mine is the reform of the broken peer review system followed by most medical publishers to assure accuracy and quality. I advocate open, transparent peer review, and continuous post-publishing review: think Wikipedia with a “reputation system” that evaluates the expertise of reviewers continually. If you’re interested follow my tweets, blogs, podcasts, and articles on the subject. You can find my Journal of Participatory Medicine article on reputation systems here
, and two related podcasts here
. I blog at e-patients.net
, a project of the Society of Participatory Medicine and serve as a member of the editorial board and author for the society’s Journal of Participatory Medicine; for more about my personal interests, see my Tumblr, Lost Causes. I co-host an internet radio show and podcast, PatientPower Health Issues.
I am a regular participant and speak or moderate panels at health-related conferences. I help entrepreneurs in the New York area with new companies, as an advisor and an investor. I consult with a number of investors and investment groups in New York and Boston. It’s a good life!
Personally, I’m lucky to have met a great woman in 1972, KC Rice, and the vibe goes on :). My late dad was a retired EE and patent attorney; my late mom a well-known MD who trained in Vienna in the 1920s. There are siblings, grandchildren and more, but hey, this is a Google Profile, not match.com
! And then there’s that place in our lives where the personal crosses into the professional: the gifted and resourceful people I worked with (and work with) at so many innovative companies. Thousands!
Education: I have an MS in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (1972) and a BA from New York University’s Washington Square College (1970). I graduated from the High School of Music & Art (now LaGuardia Arts High School), playing the violin (not as well as I might have) in 1966. All of these institutions of learning are in New York City, the world’s greatest school.
: I enjoy working with some of New York City’s best entrepreneurs, and have helped several start and run their companies, both as an investor and an advisor. I’m Chairman of Crossix Solutions, Inc.
, and serve on the Board of Directors of ContextMatters
, and Vitals
. I am an investor in Context Matters, Crossix, Medivo
(acquired by Everyday Health in December, 2010),Peerstone Research
, and Vitals. I’m on the advisory boards of Apixio
, Enhanced Medical Decisions
, Everyday Health
, the Russian health portal VitaPortal
, and Wellthie
, creators of a terrific tool to help people buy health insurance. On the VC side, I work with small-cap innovators Milestone Venture Capital
Partners, LLC, the Life Sciences Angel Network
, and Greycroft Partners
, founded by Alan Patricof. I operate PFKC Ltd. Corp, a digital health consultancy with small and large clients (from start-ups to big companies like Hearst and J&J).
Organizations I Work With
: I’m on the board of directors and a founder of StreetsPAC
, that works to ensure that the transformative progress that has come to NYC’s livable streets under the administration of Mayor Bloomberg continues under Mayor de Blasio. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the “Active Health” movement, of several parks foundations in New York City, of Transportation Alternatives
, a highly effective group that promotes safer more enjoyable conditions for walkers, bicyclists, and mass-transit users; and of OpenPlans, whose accomplishments include the creation and support of the pioneering journalistic ventures Streetsblog
, and Streetfilms
In 2014, with Carol Crump, I co-founded StreetsAcademy, an organization dedicated to providing education to prevent injury and death on our streets. Our first program, VisionHero
, targets NYC middle schoolers and is now being tested in collaboration with the Department of Transportation.
I’m a founding member and director of New York City Health Business Leaders
. I mentor with the New York Digital Health Accelerator, a program run by the New York eHealth Collaborative
and the Partnership of New York City Fund
for early- and growth-stage digital health companies that are developing cutting edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers. I also advise the Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health
initiative. I am the immediate past president of the Alumni & Friends
of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts and serve as a member of the advisory board for the medical journalism masters program
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a past president of the Healthcare Marketing Communications Council (HMCC), a nonprofit organization whose members from the pharmaceutical, publishing, medical education and advertising industries worked to improve educational and promotional programs.
Bragging rights: I have created thousands of jobs in New York City, the world’s best city to live and work in. In February, 2013 I was honored to be inducted intoThe Medical Advertising Hall of Fame
. I’m proud to be listed in Richard Saul Wurman’s March, 2002 book,Who’s Really Who
as one of the 1,000 most creative people in the U.S. (Wurman is the founder of the TED Conference). And it was a real kick when Fortune magazine, named Medscape one of the “10 Coolest Companies in America” in 1998.