Twenty Years And Going Stronger than Ever: Thyroid.com
In 1996 who knew what was going to happen to medicine, and to the increasing power of an old military project called the internet. A former student’s husband suggested I get a website at a dinner party in December 1996. I was not sure why I needed one. He said the future will be on the internet even for physicians. That week he registered www.thyroid.com for me. He built the first website seen in a previous blogpost off the Wayback website. The internet was still a curious thing with what I saw as little use to my thyroid practice. I was wrong of course. Over the 20 years the referral patterns for a super-specialist like me changed from referrals by my 200 prior doctors to patient direct referrals. The HMO, PPO, and other programs limited physician referrals to major centers and within their local networks.
At first the internet referrals were just a trickle but over a few years they became a major source of patient referrals asking about our specialized thyroid programs. We began to see the power of the internet when patients from around the world saw my website and what we could do for them that was not available in their country. We developed a rapid over-night evaluation and treatment for distant travelers. The main referrals still come from Canada and the US, but many from the Middle East and Europe have visited my center for evaluations and treatment.
The foresight of the my medical student’s husband to see the long range value of the internet for my thyroid practice was amazing. The internet changed the direction of my practice and we became focused in delivering specialized interventional thyroid care and with the power of the internet brought my services to the attention of needy thyroid patients with nodules, cancer and functional disease from around the world.
Also fellow endocrinologists wanted to learn clinical thyroidology and non-invasive treatments such as ethanol PEI and radiofrequency ablation RFA and begin to use them in their practices. We have held master’s classes for endocrinologists from many countries US states.
My exposure on the internet has helped me keep on the forefront of thyroid cancer studies, and be active in teaching thyroid cytology for endocrinologists for an Endocrine Society for 6 years, and have been invited to give a workshop and lecture at the World Congress on Thyroid Cancer in Canada several years ago. I have been invited to do clinical studies for molecular marker companies, and have a major publication that is the most quoted on marker testing for thyroid nodules and cancer.
In 2016 I still push for all the non-invasive methods to treat thyroid nodules and cancer. It is my life’s work.