After completing their medical school and residency training in some of the most prestigious academic medical centers in America, all of our doctors have spent over 10 years practicing in traditional primary care practices. They are well-trained and experienced. Just as importantly, they are visionaries pioneering Virtual Primary Care, a new model of primary care.
Sherpaa is not something they do on the side in-between office-visits.
Our doctors are 100% focused on their Sherpaa practice. We started with one doctor 7 years ago. And every single doctor we’ve ever hired has been because, as we’ve grown, one of our doctors has said “I know a doctor who would love to quit working in their practice and practice Virtual Primary Care. I’ve worked with her for years and she’s just exceptional.” Sherpaa is their everyday.
Sherpaa is not “Uber for doctors.”
You will always work with the same doctors because relationships and continuity with experts who know you is the secret to high quality care. In fact, continuity with our patients is the single most important feature that unlocks telehealth’s capabilities from being restricted to simple things like pink eye to managing complex illnesses like pneumonia. Let’s face it, the nature of human relationships have changed since the advent of the internet. My parents live in Florida while I live in Brooklyn and I hate that I don’t get to have dinner with them every Sunday night. But I text them regularly, send photos, jump on FaceTime or the phone, send them links, comment on their Facebook posts, retweet my father (!!), etc. While I can’t hug them when I want to, the internet has enabled a new kind of real human relationship. Sherpaa doctors and patients feel the same way. When I see a patient write “Hey Dr. G” just like they’d say it when Dr. Gonnella previously walked into an exam room, you see similarities to the old-fashioned PCP relationship we used to have when healthcare wasn’t so complex.
Sherpaa’s doctors are salaried and do not get paid for maximizing visits.
Our doctors get paid a flat salary to be available for you and help you solve your health problems, period. They are not bonused on volume and don’t get paid more for ordering more.
Sherpaa doctors get to practice complex online care, not just pink eye all day every day.
Up until Virtual Primary Care came into being, most online care delivery has been delivered via today’s 10 minute video visits with random doctors who can’t confirm hunches with tests or follow up with you. Because of the limitations of the 10 minute conversation between strangers, this tool is limited to 30 simple issues like pink eye. Continuity over time between the same doctor and patient is the core of Sherpaa. This unlocks our ability to follow-up, order lab and imaging tests & act on their results, arrange care with specialists, follow-up with specialists to take over management as a traditional PCP should, and manage chronic illnesses. Sherpaa doctors routinely manage ~1,500 conditions rather than 30. Sherpaa allows them to practice at the top of their license, rather than traditional telehealth, which is far under their license. Doctors love to geek out on complex situations. It’s what drives them and stimulates them and also what satisfies them, knowing they effectively solved a serious problem and changed the life of one of their patients.
Sherpaa’s care has been safety-tested in the real world for the last 7 years.
All of our processes have been carefully designed, and supported by our technology, to make online care as safe as possible. And safety starts with accessibility. We believe an accessible doctor is the safest doctor. If you can always get a hold of your own doctor within minutes, they can help you figure out exactly what you need to do and when. And no exceptional doctor takes risks. Remember, any mistake a doctor makes means both your health and their livelihood are on the line. Did you know 60% of malpractice cases stem from just 6% of doctors? We have a simple rule— we don’t hire that 6%.
Sherpaa simplifies being a doctor for doctors who want to do their best, but feel like they can’t due to how frustrating being a traditional doctor has become.
Forty percent of a traditional office-based primary care doctor’s day is spent documenting office visits in order to get paid by insurance companies. Doctors didn’t spend all that time and money training to be scribes. They want to be the kind of doctors they thought they’d become on the first day of medical school. They just want to deliver care and simplify their lives. Ninety-five percent of doctor-patient communications within Sherpaa’s platform is messaging, which isthe documentation. Only about 5% of the time do we jump on the phone with patients and therefore need to document an oral conversation. And since Sherpaa does not get paid by insurance companies, we do not have to play games with our documentation and try to maximize how much we bill you and your insurance company. We simply charge a flat rate no matter how much we do for you.
Sherpaa simplifies being a patient and lets doctors help make healthcare better for you.
All the clipboards. The paperwork. The confusing bills. The bills that maximize how much they charge you. The inefficiencies that result in unpredictably long waits in their waiting rooms. The struggle with “since the only reason I’m paid by insurance companies is for office visits, I have to make my patients come in to the office for the smallest things.” They see your frustration and they want to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Sherpaa offers a doctor flexibility.
Sherpaa doctors can choose to work from home, our office, their family’s summer home in the summer, or while living with their husband who lives in Europe for his job for 6 months out of the year. However, most choose to work from the office because they like working together as a team. In many ways, Sherpaa operates like a traditional practice. Doctors cover whole shifts for each other or, for an hour, so one can go to their 4 year old’s dance recital. There are two shifts per day— an 8am to 4pm shift and a 12pm to 8pm. Our doctors take turns taking overnight 8pm to 8am calls.
Sherpaa offers a more collaborative environment.
Being in a traditional practice is pretty professionally isolating and lonely. Most of the time, you’re jumping from patient to patient. If you see something a little weird and you’d like a colleague’s opinion, your colleague has to stop seeing patients to come see what you need help with, if there’s even a colleague around to help. But 95% of communication between a Sherpaa doctor and her patients are email-like (not real-time) messages within the app. About 5% of the time, for urgent issues, we jump on a phone or video call. This means that when a weird case shows up, they can ask the other Sherpaa doctors to read the case and offer up their opinion. Then, after the group has discussed the situation, your doctor will get back to you. Or, because it’s impossible to know everything in medicine, when they see something they haven’t seen in a while, they can read up on it before getting back to you. When you see a doctor in a traditional office, they don’t have time to do the research and, honestly, they’re often winging it.
Sherpaa offers technology that can help doctors be better doctors.
There’s an art to medicine. It’s the empathy in one’s voice. And it’s the message you get on your phone “Hey Jane, I know this is scary. I’m just checking in on you from yesterday. Feeling better?” In addition to the art, it’s also scientific evidence for one treatment over another. For the top 300 symptoms and the top 300 diagnoses we make at Sherpaa, we’ve created protocols for our doctors to ensure they’re asking all the right questions in the right ways that cover all bases while also prescribing the treatment plan that’s backed by the most up to date scientific evidence. We believe technology should be used, not for maximizing how much we bill you and your insurance company…but, instead, to help doctors be better doctors and to help you get far more accessible, communicative care.
Sherpaa doctors want to pioneer a visionary, better way of delivering healthcare.
We at Sherpaa believe doctors and patients should communicate far better than quick, expensive exam room visits. Now that we’re all communicating with our phones and computers and solving problems far more efficiently, we should be doing that with our doctors. We strongly believe that mandating office visits so doctors can get paid is the primary dysfunction in the process of healthcare delivery. Most of healthcare is just communication between you and your doctor. That communication can happen via one sentence, three paragraphs, a photo of an injury, a phone call, a video chat, or in-person in an exam room. Sometimes that communication is augmented by lab or imaging tests or a physical exam. After 7 years of operating, we’ve found that the in-person physical exam is very, very rarely the crucial missing piece of a diagnosis. Because an in-person visit to do a physical exam is rarely necessary, 95% of primary and urgent care can be delivered exclusively online via an ongoing relationship with the same Sherpaa doctor. This means in-person visits should be used for serious, meaningful conversations, complicated tests, and procedures. Since most of healthcare doesn’t require this, Sherpaa has pioneered a new way of delivering healthcare to make quality care affordable, accessible and relationship-based.