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The Doctor is Out

The Doctor is Out

By Sharif Vakili
The Doctor is Out (TDIO) is a podcast exploring the journeys and careers of healthcare providers who have engaged in the world beyond the practice of medicine. Join the host, Dr. Sharif Vakili, in discussions with healthcare leaders who have gone from bedside to start companies, run hospital systems, spearhead public policy, enter the arts, run investment groups and pursue other interesting ventures.

About the host: Sharif is a venture investor at Polaris Partners and a physician at Stanford Hospital. He holds an MD from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from Harvard, and an MS and BS from Yale.
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S1E07: Venture Capital - Simeon George

The Doctor is Out

S3E10: Becoming a Scientific Founder - Aaron Ring
Yale Immunobiology Professor and Scientific Founder of Simcha Therapeutics and Seranova Bio, Dr. Aaron Ring, discusses his journey starting a lab spinning out companies building therapeutics for patients right out of his MD/PhD program. We close out the final episode of the season with a conversation around generating leading science with translational potential, spinning out biotech companies, finding a management team, and the relationship between investors and scientific founders in biotech.
April 27, 2022
S3E09: Becoming a Health System CMO - Niraj Sehgal
Internist, Professor and Stanford Health Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Niraj Sehgal joins for the first in-person conversation since the pandemic started on what it means to be Chief Medical Officer of an Academic Medical System, his journey becoming the Chief Quality Officer of the UCSF Health System and Chief Medical Officer of Stanford Health Care, and the role of hospital administration in tackling the big challenges facing the US healthcare system. Join for an engaging conversation around hospital leadership, healthcare reform, and disruption risks for provider systems from a career educator and healthcare leader. Explore differences between a health system CMO, a biotech CMO, and a health IT CMO through other TDIO episodes! Learn more about the biotech CMO path here: Learn more about the health IT CMO path here:
April 13, 2022
S3E08: Activism through Entrepreneurship - Nzinga Harrison
Can systemic social challenges in healthcare be tackled by a for-profit business? Can entrepreneurship be a force to do well and good in healthcare? Eleanor Health Chief Medical Officer, Psychiatrist and cofounder of Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform Dr. Nzinga Harrison discusses her career championing health equity and activism through entrepreneurship. Join for a conversation around value-based care in mental health, risk-based contracts designed to serve the most vulnerable patients with substance abuse, and innovations tackling social determinants of health. Check out Dr. Nzinga Harrison's In Recovery Podcast here:
March 23, 2022
S3E07: A Journey of Leadership - Gary Gottlieb
In this episode, we go into the remarkable career journey of Dr. Gary Gottlieb, who went from his practice as a Geriatric Psychiatrist to become a national healthcare leader as the former CEO of the Partners Healthcare System, the former President of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the former CEO of Partners in Health, and now an Executive Partner at Flare Capital serving on the boards of prominent healthcare startups. Join for an inspiring story of a journey through healthcare leadership, leading change in psychiatric care, a discussion on where academic health systems should watch out for disruption from the startup sector, and key lessons for trainees reflecting on a storied career in leadership.
March 09, 2022
S3E06: From Physician Innovator to CEO - Michelle Longmire
Is formal business training necessary to build an impactful company as a physician? Is it possible to start a successful company during clinical training? Medable CEO and Dermatologist Dr. Michelle Longmire discusses her journey defying conformity and stereotypes to become one of healthcare's pre-eminent physician leaders building a disruptive $2B startup transforming the way clinical trials are conducted. Join for a broad-ranging conversation on being an entrepreneurial outsider, starting a company during clinical training, decentralized clinical trials, SPACs and the commercialization of personalized medicines.
February 23, 2022
S3E05: Content Creation - Kevin Pho
What does it mean to be a content creator as a physician?  KevinMD founder and primary care physician Dr. Kevin Pho discusses his career as a physician social media influencer and editor of the Medpage blog KevinMD. Join for a conversation around how "the definition of what a doctor does is changing" and counteracting burnout in clinical practice.
February 09, 2022
S3E04: Ed Tech Innovation - Shiv Gaglani and Sievert Weiss
How do you innovate as an entrepreneur in medical education? Join for a conversation with Osmosis Founder and CEO Shiv Gaglani and Amboss Founder Dr. Sievert Weiss on a conversation around building a startup in medical education. Learn about each entrepreneur's unique path into ed tech, the business model of education, the calculus of stepping away from medical school or clinical medicine to build a company, and how to transform passions in medical education into companies reaching millions of students globally. Check out as well the Osmosis podcast here: 
January 19, 2022
S3E03: Front Line Entrepreneurship - Alexi Nazem
What happens when you disrupt the healthcare workforce industry while it is being disrupted by a global pandemic? Dr. Alexi Nazem, the CEO of Nomad Health, discusses his role leading Nomad to modernize the travel nursing industry right at a time of unprecedented need, extraordinary uncertainty and recurrent staffing crises. From death-defying moments to leading through breakneck growth, Nazem describes his journey doing to the travel nursing industry what Travelocity did to travel agencies. Join also for a conversation around the strengths and weaknesses of medicine's leadership training, pursuing both clinical practice and entrepreneurship, and the "Brownian motion" at the heart of company creation.
January 05, 2022
S3E02: The Business of Medicine - Elisabeth Rosenthal
Can we create incentives to make medicine do the right thing? Is healthcare a public good or a commodity? Join for a conversation around the business of medicine with Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief, NY Times Contributor and author of "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back". Learn about Elisabeth's journey toward becoming an author and journalist, and her recommendations for what can be done to bring reform to the healthcare system.
December 15, 2021
S3E01: Fixing Medicare Advantage and Value Based Care - Donald Berwick
Is Medicare Advantage delivering on its promise of higher quality, lower cost care or has it become an overlooked vehicle for arbitrage with tax payers stuck with the bill? Dr. Donald Berwick, the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who served during the Obama Administration shortly after the ACA passage, joins for the first episode of the season to discuss the "Medicare Money Machine" that has led value based care Medicare Advantage plans to cost ~$140B more than traditional fee for service plans over the past 12 years. Join for a riveting conversation around emerging challenges in value based care and how to address them in next generation contracts.  Join also for a discussion on what it was like to be CMS Administrator, the value of an MPP in medicine, as well as the "growth that happens at the intersections" of disciplines that can lead to career development. Read Dr. Berwick's recent publication with former Trinity Health CEO and first CMMI Director Dr. Richard Gilfillan in Health Affairs here:
December 01, 2021
S2E04: Biotech Investing, Entrepreneurship and Drug Pricing – Alex Harding
Is it possible for market competition to lower drug prices in pharma, or are we resigned to ever-increasing prices with each new biotech innovation? Dr. Alex Harding, biotech venture capitalist at Atlas Ventures, VP of Business Development and Corporate Strategy at Remix Therapeutics and MGH internal medicine physician, joins for a multifaceted conversation around drug pricing, being a practicing physician in biotech VC, and life sciences entrepreneurship. A contributor to the biotech newsletter the Timmerman Report, Alex discusses his recent report on the disruptive drug discovery startup, EQRx, that is contending to radically lower drug prices. Join for a thought-provoking conversation around the consequences of EQRx’s business model and the challenges with market-based drug pricing reform in the United States. This episode marks the end of the summer interseason. The Doctor is Out will be back in a few months after a short break.
September 15, 2021
S2E03: Disrupting Mental Health - Connie Chen
Dr. Connie Chen, the Chief Operating Officer and former Chief Medical Officer of Lyra Health, discusses her journey building one of the fastest-growing healthcare startups disrupting Mental Health, growing from a $180M company to a $4.6B company in 30 months. Join for a dynamic conversation on entering entrepreneurship as a physician, the role of a CMO and COO at a healthcare startup, recent hot investment activity in mental health, and the disruptive changes coming to how mental health will be delivered and accessed in the United States.
August 11, 2021
S2E02: From Physician Scientist to CEO - Andrew Beck
PathAI CEO Dr. Andrew Beck discusses how he went from a career as a physician scientist to the CEO of one of the most formative Pathology AI startups in Medicine. Hear the story of a pathologist who uses the catalyst of winning a premier AI pathology research competition to build the leading pathology AI company that's raised $255M from investors across the healthcare services and pharma industries including Polaris Partners, General Catalyst, Kaiser Permanente, Bristol Myers Squibb, Labcorp and Merck's Global Health Innovation Fund.
July 07, 2021
S2E01: Reforming the Culture of Medicine – Robert Pearl
Dr. Robert Pearl, the former CEO of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and Faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, joins for a discussion on becoming the CEO of the nation's largest medical group and reforming the culture of medicine. Discussing his recent book Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors & Patients, Robert provides a deep analysis of physician culture, both its beauty and dark underbelly. Join for an engaging conversation with one of the key leaders in healthcare on how to navigate the culture of medicine, and what it means for innovation and reform in healthcare.
June 09, 2021
S1E11: Leading Medicine - Eric Topol
Dr. Eric Topol, Cardiologist and the Director of the Scripps Translational Institute, discusses his path becoming one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine and one of the most impactful leading voices in medicine. We close out season 1 with Eric’s story on building a successful career in academia that extends beyond the immediate scopes of clinical practice to become a leading thinker across several transformative movements in medicine.
April 14, 2021
S1E10: Breaking into Biotech - Angela Shen
Dr. Angela Shen, currently the Chief Medical Officer at Arcellx, discusses her journey going from becoming a surgeon to developing novel cancer drugs and serving as Chief Medical Officer of four successful biotech companies. Join for a fun and engaging conversation around what it means to be the Chief Medical Officer of a biotech/pharma startup, breaking into the biotech industry, the difficulties letting go of clinical practice, and the considerations of leaving medical practice to enter industry.
March 31, 2021
S1E09: Medical Legal Consulting - Armin Feldman
In this episode, we learn about the practice of medical legal consulting from Psychiatrist and professional Medical Legal Consultant Dr. Armin Feldman. Join for an informative discussion exploring this unique niche adjacent to medicine, and learn the story of a doctor who went from advocating for his traumatic brain injury patients' medical legal cases to building a field helping and training others to do similarly with scale.
March 17, 2021
S1E08: Becoming a Tech Executive - Sumbul Desai
Apple VP of Health and Stanford Clinical Professor, Dr. Sumbul Desai, discusses her journey through medicine after a career in journalism at ABC News and Strategy at Disney. Sumbul shares her heartwarming story behind her career in medicine, journalism, and media to become a tech executive spearheading Apple's work in health and wellness. Join for an conversation around indirect paths through medicine, the potential traps of BA/MD programs, becoming a tech executive from medicine without an MBA, and more. 
March 03, 2021
S1E07: Venture Capital - Simeon George
SR One Capital Management CEO Dr. Simeon George provides insights into the path of becoming a venture capitalist. An investor with a storied track record serving on the boards of companies including CRISPR Therapeutics, Nkarta, Progeny and Turning Point Therapeutics, Simeon discusses challenges and opportunities he faces spinning out the 36-year old firm from GSK recently launching SR One's first independent $500M fund. Join for a very special discussion around breaking into venture capital, the values of residency and an MBA in the field, and what it means to be a VC.
February 16, 2021
S1E06: Fixing Healthcare - Vivian Lee
Verily Health Platforms President and former University of Utah Health System CEO, Dr. Vivian Lee, discusses "fixing" US healthcare through health policy, entrepreneurship and digital health. Join for an interview of a physician who discusses her path pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Oxford, an MD from Harvard, entering surgery residency, pivoting to radiology residency, then pursuing an MBA and ultimately entering healthcare administration.
February 02, 2021
S1E05: Physician Side Gigs - Nisha Mehta
Dr. Nisha Mehta discusses her lessons as founder of the 115,000-member online physician community, “Physician Side Gigs”. Join Nisha for an important conversation on career longevity, burnout and ways to create "life in medicine on your own terms".
January 19, 2021
S1E04: Chairing a Department and Running a Nonprofit - Bob Harrington
Dr. Bob Harrington, the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford and former American Heart Association President, discusses what it means to be the Chair of a large academic department and the President of a prominent medical nonprofit organization.
January 05, 2021
S1E03: Becoming a Health System CEO - Sachin Jain
SCAN Group and Health Plan CEO, Dr. Sachin Jain, discusses the "left turns" he took to become CEO of two large health systems and help launch the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation all within the time it can sometimes take to finish fellowship. Join for a discussion around healthcare management, health policy, the MD/MBA pathway and getting out of the "PGY mindset".
December 22, 2020
S1E02: Medical Anthropology - Arthur Kleinman and Paul Farmer
Join Sharif with a very special guest co-host, Dr. Nick Cuneo, in an interview with the fathers of medical anthropology, Dr. Arthur Kleinman and Dr. Paul Farmer, as they discuss what it means to build an academic discipline. Sharif and Nick explore Paul and Arthur's special mentee/mentor relationship and discuss how their works have built on each other to advance social medicine.
December 08, 2020
S1E01: Disruptive Entrepreneurship - Rushika Fernandapulle
Iora Health co-founder and CEO Dr. Rushika Fernandapulle discusses his journey launching a disruptive venture-backed primary care organization helping push US healthcare away from fee-for-service and toward value-based care.
November 23, 2020
S0E0: Introducing: The Doctor is Out
Welcome to The Doctor Is Out, a podcast hosted by Dr. Sharif Vakili, resident physician at Stanford Hospital and investor at Polaris Partners. Join Sharif in exploring the nonclinical practice of medicine as he interviews healthcare leaders who have gone from bedside to build companies, run health systems, spearhead public policy and much more.
August 15, 2020