The Doctor's Doctor website began after an encounter with a patient's family. It was a concerned patient and her husband who came to my office holding her mammograms and a copy of my surgical pathology report. The husband indicated that he wanted to speak with me since I was the pathologist and the most important person to discuss his wife's case since I made the diagnosis. The encounter was an epiphany for me, reminding me of the critical role of the pathologist and the relative dearth of resources for the patient to interpret their own pathology report. The invention of the world wide web and the internet afforded an opportunity to create a vehicle by which this type of information could be disseminated.
The site went live in the beginning of this year. The original site contained sections describing the role of the pathologist, medical news, diseases, and an area devoted to explaining the pathology report with an opportunity for a patient to send us a copy of their pathology report where we would "translate" or explain it in layman terms.
Feedback from patients and physicians alike led to a more robust coverage of diseases. Abstracts of peer-reviewed medical journal articles began appearing for each disease. This led to a doubling in the size of the site. An article in a local newspaper, The Daily Breeze, was the first widespread press coverage, leading to a significant increase in visitors.
By the end of the year, the site was receiving about 100,000 hits per month generated by nearly 15,000 visitors a month.
In November, there was recognition of the site by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the main governing body for American pathologists. An article in their main monthly publication, CAP Today, led to widespread recognition from many pathologists throughout the country.
By the end of the year, the site was receiving nearly 1 million hits per month generated by nearly 60,000 visitors a month.
New additions to the site included a continuing medical education section, designed for the teaching of pathology and dermatology residents, but also to give the patient insight into the complexity of pathologic diagnoses. Another addition, Pathologists Who Make A Difference, is devoted to documenting the many unheralded contributions that pathologists make in the clinical laboratories. Finally, in response to numerous requests for a referral base of physicians who can treat their diseases, an area was created to address these needs.
In June, the site received additional recognition from the College of American Pathologists. A presentation to its Council in Public Affairs led to an invitation to become a member of this council, which oversees all communication between the College and the public and press. The College pledged to assist in the further development of the site as well as collaborate on additional projects which could enhance the image of the pathologist to the public.
By the end of the year, the site was receiving 2,210,281 hits/month generated by 117,710 visitor sessions/month. There were 1070 weekly searches for information utilizing our internal search engine.
This was a transition year as the website continued to build upon the successes of the previous years. Numerous lectures on a variety of timely topics in both anatomic and clinical pathology were added to the Got Path? Continuing Medical Education section.
By the end of the year, the site was receiving 3,918,859 hits/month generated by 223,561 visitor sessions/month.
Growth continued at a robust pace. Two sister sites were launced; Got Path?, an outgrowth of the continuing education section, and DermpathMD, a site presenting timely information to dermatologists and pathologists. Both sites continued the tradition of providing discussions and interesting case presentations of current cases.
For 2004, the site received 50,244,412 hits generated by 2,735,793 visitor sessions.
The Doctor's Doctor web site now reaches around the world with questions and consults coming from countries as diverse as India and Thailand. The web site still accepts no advertising and has remained an ardent advocate as an unbiased resource for patients and physicians to understand their pathology report and to better understand the role of the pathologist.
Last Updated January 25, 2005
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