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Listen to our SERMO & MM&M webinar on “How Doctors Socialize Online: Medical Crowdsourcing in the Virtual Doctors’ Lounge.”




FAQ

What is SERMO?

SERMO is the leading social network for fully verified, licensed doctors in the US and now globally. Now available in 30 countries, SERMO has reached close to 600,000 members and become the first global physician-exclusive social network. SERMO is a virtual doctors’ lounge, teaching university, and international medical conference all rolled into one. Doctors come together in this unique online meeting place that facilitates authentic discussions, online learning and medical crowdsourcing. They voice their true feelings about their profession and learn from one another by asking questions and sharing medical second opinions. With close to 600,000 verified physicians across more than 90 specialties, SERMO is harnessing the collective wisdom of doctors to drive medicine forward on a global scale.

What does SERMO mean?

It’s Latin for “conversation, discussion, diction, speech, talk, the word.”

What is SERMO’s mission and vision?

Our goal is to revolutionize real world medicine. Our community of physicians connects and crowdsources the latest medical ideas; what used to take decades to disseminate now takes minutes.

Our clients tap this vein to improve products at a rapid rate. Together, medicine improves not in increments, but in leaps and bounds. Our unique environment of physician and industry collaboration advances medicine, every day.

What needs does SERMO address?

Doctors often feel isolated. They used to connect in doctors’ lounges at the hospital, but those no longer exist. SERMO fills this gap by providing doctors a place to connect safely and discuss everything from the business to difficult cases.

SERMO allows physicians to collaborate via mobile technology in innovative ways. The network’s crowdsourcing platform, SERMOsolves, allows physicians to post tough cases and receive invaluable input. Cases can be posted from anywhere, even exam rooms, via mobile or desktop platforms.

Why do physicians spend time on SERMO?

When physicians can talk without repercussions, they ask for help and share, thus advancing the universe of medical knowledge. According to our members, they use SERMO as a human source of information to save time and lives. Doctors also say they appreciate the support, camaraderie and empathy of their peers.

How does SERMO crowdsourcing work?

Anywhere in the world, physicians can post a medical question or scenario on SERMO. The submitting doctor provides anonymous information about the patient, including images, text results and other relevant information. The doctor typically asks for recommendations for next steps. Contributors can ask follow up questions, post advice, and vote on a course of action. Within minutes, 200 years of medical experience can converge to save a patient’s life – at no cost to the healthcare system.

How is SERMO different from other medical websites and social media?

Different medical social media sites serve different purposes. Some are a referral source and professional network for physicians, resembling a rolodex. Others serve as a resource for continuing medical education. SERMO offers rich real-time interaction and engagement, much like Facebook. It’s the #1 site for conversations and medical crowdsourcing.

Why do members choose to be anonymous? 

Honesty is one of the truly great things about SERMO.  By allowing our members to participate anonymously, physicians can engage in frank discussions without fear of repercussions in their real lives.  They can speak openly about taboo topics like patient misdiagnoses, physician compensation, or even burnout.  About 90 percent of physicians choose to be anonymous on SERMO.

 

How do you know members are actually physicians?

SERMO allows doctors to be as anonymous as they want to be, but anonymity doesn't mean their credentials aren't verified. Our members must go through a three-stage credential check. Our verification process is highly secure and accurate. After passing the check, 90 percent of doctors choose to be anonymous on SERMO.

US SERMO physicians index closely to the demographics of American physicians, as benchmarked by the AMA. Our members average 15 – 20 years’ experience in medicine, and represent over 90 specialties and sub-specialties in all 50 states.

What are SERMO surveys and sentiment polls?

SERMO is the world’s largest healthcare professional polling company spanning 80 countries and with 1.6 million members from both a social and digital research network. SERMO conducts 700,000 surveys a year.

In addition to formal surveys, SERMO also conducts regular sentiment polls on the social network. Every Monday, SERMO posts a poll with a fresh, topical question.  They are intended to be unscientific discussion starters to capture the unfiltered voice and sentiment of thousands of physicians each week. We take the pulse on topics that range from certification maintenance to healthcare politics, and daily challenges. Our polls are one of the most popular areas of our site; they spark plenty of healthy debate and enable doctors to have a voice on important issues.

SERMO Polls are written by both the SERMO Community Team and by members. They are posted online within the closed SERMO community and only members can participate. Polls can receive up to 3,000 votes and each member can vote a maximum of one time. They are promoted both within the community and by email to community members; however, members are not incentivized to participate in SERMO polls. Results can be tracked as votes are cast and final results are often posted on the SERMO blog, giving the general public insight into aggregated physician opinions on current medical issues.

SERMO members must go through a three-stage, highly secure and accurate verification process. While the data has not been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of physicians, US SERMO physicians index closely to the demographics of American physicians in general, as benchmarked by the AMA.  Thus, SERMO polls often reflect a strong cross-section of US medical opinion.

Because the sample is based on those who initially self-select for participation rather than being targeted from a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error.

As SERMO expands globally, polls can be targeted at specific countries to assess opinions on issues of national importance and relevance. Opinion polls within the social network are open and offered free of charge to members of the media.

Key SERMO Facts:

  • Founded in 2005, SERMO is the leading global social network for fully verified, licensed physicians, with close to 600,000 members in 30 countries: the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Argentina, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, France, Finland, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Israel, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, and Greece, with plans for a continued global expansion.
  • Unlike other social networks for doctors, SERMO members may remain anonymous. In fact, 90% of the community chooses to be anonymous.
  • Most patient cases posted on SERMO receive a response within 1.5 hours and are solved within 24 hours
  • In 2015, SERMO doctors posted close to 6,000 challenging patient cases which received over 626,000 comments.