Medicine 2.0

October 31, 2007


I visited the doctor today in New York – Brooklyn to be exact and I can safely say I felt really good afterwards. The doctor in question was Jay Parkinson and we met at his office – a corner coffee shop in Williamsburg. I’ve been tracking the extraordinary response to his practice and as I’d referred to it in my presentation on Saturday I thought I’d email Jay to see if he was free for a face to face chat He quickly said yes and I had a really interesting hour or so with him and his four footed friend buddy. We talked about health care on both sides of the pond; how having a dog impacts on your social life in New York; the way in which social media is changing the professions; the emotional splitting that can happen online (why disagree face-to-face when you can keep that aspect of relating to instant chat?) and the huge interest he’s receiving from the main stream media (see here). Just to prove the point a reporter from the Times of London called in the middle of our chat to arrange an interview for later in the week. I really appreciated Jay’s generosity and the speed with which he agreed to meet a visiting blogger – but that’s been my experience of the blogging fraternity on all my travels to date. I’m not qualified to comment on the model of healthcare he’s offering – or the costs associated with it but the business model he’s using really inspired me – I can see applications for all kinds of professionals. It’s also fair to say that he’s been the subject of some criticism – and I admire the fact that he’s decided to take on the critics in public and allow them to have their say on his blog. He’s also invited his patients to publicly review him and his practice.
Sitting in another coffee shop later in the day – listening to the strains of where the streets have no name (Bedford Avenue actually) – I wondered what it was about meeting Jay that stayed and refused to leave me alone. Another coffee and three U2 tracks later it occurred to me that perhaps the doctor I imagined meeting wasn’t the one that showed up. The doctor in my mind was a crusader – someone ‘taking on the system’; perhaps angry or at least with some scores to settle. But nothing could have been further from the truth. The doctor I met struck me as someone who couldn’t possibly be doing what he loves to do in any other way. I didn’t sense any agenda – no crusades – simply a doctor, passionate about his work and doing it in the most efficient and contemporary way possible. I was really impressed by the ease with which he’s found a niche – so obvious and yet so newsworthy. If Jay Parkinson is medicine 2.0 I wonder what that means for the way the rest of us are doing business?
Thanks for your time Jay!
Jay is also a very talented photographer and you can see his work here.

Photo credit:Noah Kalina