Survey: How Doctors Read and What it Means to Patients

16 percent of physicians report saving a patient’s life in the last year directly due to news they read in medical literature

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Nearly 75 percent of physicians change their clinical practices quarterly or monthly based on reading medical literature, according to a Doximity survey conducted last week. The survey also found that 98 percent of physicians reported reading medical literature is important or very important to their practice.

However, despite the perceived value of medical literature, it can be challenging for physicians to keep up on news. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Library Association (JAMLA) found that over 7,000 articles are published monthly in primary care journals alone.

“Medicine has a TL;DR problem (Too Long; Didn’t Read),” said Nate Gross, MD, co-founder of Doximity. “It would take 20 hours of reading each day for the average physician to comb through everything published in their speciality. At Doximity, we address this issue by identifying the most important news for an individual member and delivering it straight to them - saving time and ensuring that life-saving clinical news is actually read.”

Survey findings:

  • 98 percent of physicians reported that reading medical literature was important or very important to their practice.
  • 16 percent of physicians reported that reading medical literature directly helped save the life of a patient in the last year, with medical news of rare immune disorders, new melanoma treatments and stroke guidelines cited in physician stories.
  • When asked how often reading medical literature directly changed their clinical practice with patients, 14 percent of physicians reported changing weekly, 28 percent reported monthly, 44 percent reported quarterly and 14 percent reported yearly.
  • 44 percent of physicians reported spending 1 to 2 hours a week reading news online on a smartphone, computer or tablet. 22 percent read news online 3 to 4 hours a week and 24 percent read more than 5 hours a week online. Only 10 percent read news online less than an hour a week.

Doximity currently has over 40 percent of US physicians as members of its professional network. Doximity’s Curator algorithm is used to power DocNews, the first and only service to automatically source medical news based on a physician’s professional interests, publishing history and clinical expertise - an average of 28 profile data points per member.

“Doximity's DocNews offered timely news and a common platform to inform our practice and stimulate conversation among our surgeons about the best approaches for atrial fibrillation treatment,” said Hassan Tetteh, MD, a Washington DC-based surgeon specializing in thoracic surgery, critical care, and heart and lung transplantation. “Having a secure dynamic platform like Doximity to share knowledge and communicate with my medical colleagues is priceless."

Physicians interested in receiving for free personalized DocNews updates can learn more at

Survey Methodology

Doximity’s survey of physicians was conducted online between July 9 and July 17, 2014 with 80 responses.

About Doximity

Launched in 2011, Doximity ( connects physicians to make them more successful and productive. With more than 40 percent of U.S. physicians as members, collaborating across every specialty and academic medical center, Doximity is the largest secure medical network on the Internet. Doximity is headquartered in Silicon Valley and was created by the founders of Epocrates (NASDAQ:EPOC), now owned by athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHN).


for Doximity
Emily Peters, 650-200-3901

Release Summary

Survey: How doctors read & what it means to patients. 16% of physicians report saving a patient’s life in the last year due to news they read in medical literature according to a Doximity survey.


for Doximity
Emily Peters, 650-200-3901