How does HuliHealth select the world’s best doctors?

A few days ago, I was contacted by a marketing agency that wanted to place their clients – a group of doctors – on our website. The marketer asked me how she could add her clients to “It’s fairly simple”, I said, “to be admitted to our website, a doctor needs to be approved by another doctor on our network”. She was actually surprised and taken aback by our doctor vetting process. I guess our core belief – that doctors are the best people suited to vet other doctors – isn’t as commonplace as I would’ve thought. (By the way, for those of you who are wondering, the best doctors are not necessarily the most expensive. They aren’t the ones with the fanciest office or website, either. The best doctors are the ones that are highly respected by their peers.)

As a general rule, we try our best to add the top 20% of doctors per specialty per country. But how do we know who is the best? First, we identify “Key Opinion Leaders”, in each specialty. Key Opinion Leaders are thought leaders that are highly respected by their peers due to their demonstrated leadership, excellent academic standing, and exemplary integrity. After talking to these Key Opinion Leaders, we ask them to help us identify and refer other top doctors. These top doctors, in turn, refer their top peers.

At the end of the day, only doctors referred by other doctors are allowed on our site. We personally believe that great doctors will refer other great doctors. Ours might not be a perfect system, but it is certainly better than any alternative out there. Also, our website’s patient reviews (only real patients can leave reviews on our website) will also help provide a second layer of vetting.

A few of my Wharton business school friends have suggested we try adding any doctor that contacts us. They believe that our doctor selection methodology and stringent standards will slow down our doctor network growth. To be honest, I’m not losing any sleep over our standards… it was never my intent to build a doctor website based on the Yellow Pages or Yelp model, one in which everybody and their mother can be listed. We only want the best, most respected doctors in the world and we are not willing to take any shortcuts.

By Alejandro Vega