How to Find the Best Doctor Using Google Scholar

This guide is directly from “The Creative Destruction of Medicine” by Eric Topol, M.D.

You need to find the best doctor in the field, but where do you go? Yesterday, this is what I would have done if I were to search for a doctor who specializes in prostate cancer:

  1. Search Google for “Best prostate cancer doctors,” or “Best prostate cancer hospitals.”
  2. Try to ignore the innumerable advertisements…
Google Search for Prostate Cancer

3. Read through the results and reviews of doctors until I find someone extremely “reputable.” Due note, that this process would take many hours.

Additionally, I would have asked my friends, family, or any other doctors I know for a recommendation.

However, as Topol discusses, doctors specialize so they probably don’t know who is the leading expert in a different discipline. As a result, they are likely going to refer a colleague. This is problematic.


Eric Topol suggests a much smarter approach:

“You need to identify the physician who conducts the leading research in the field” (51).

Here is how you find that physician:

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Search “Prostate cancer.”
  3. Look for results with many citations. They are generally listed in order by descending number of citations.
Google Scholar search for prostate cancer

Here, our top 4 results have 4204, 1238, 1127, and 1772 citations respectively.

4. Now we search these authors names on PubMed. Let’s try searching “WJ Catalona” (he’s the first author listed for the 2nd result).

5. Analyze the PubMed results:

PubMed results

On PubMed, we can see how many papers William Catalona has published: 173. Most of them pertain to prostate cancer too.

Success. We have identified one of the leading doctors in prostate cancer. Keep in mind that this process only helps identify possible candidates because some doctors do not practice. In William Catalona’s case, he does:

“[He] is one of the first surgeons to perform and perfect nerve sparing surgery in radical prostatectomy operations. Dr. Catalona has performed more than 6,000 radical prostatectomies.” — www.drcatalona.com

I hope this initial approach helps you and your loved ones find the best doctor whom suits your needs.


Note: I did not come up with this process, I’m simply trying to share it in a condensed form online. Eric Topol deserves the credit. I highly encourage you to read his book, “The Creative Destruction of Medicine.”

Additional note: I have no affiliation with William Catalona.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Next Story — 3 Surprising Takeaways from Teaching English in a Virtual Restaurant
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3 Surprising Takeaways from Teaching English in a Virtual Restaurant

In Lingoland, you are immersed in a virtual 3D scene with a live language tutor. You are both avatars in the scene, so you cannot see each other’s faces, but you can speak to one another.

Over the last few months, here are 3 surprising takeaways from teaching students from all around the world.

1. Japanese Men Love Roleplaying

Have you ever heard a 35 year old Japanese man slurp a virtual piña colada? I have. Within the Lingoland restaurant “Immersive”, the student acts as a diner in a restaurant, and their tutor acts as their waiter.

Some students who join Lingoland are quite shy, but by the middle of the session, they are saying things they would never say in the real world!

2. Most of the World Does Not Tip

In Lingoland, we incorporate cultural practices into the roleplay. In the restaurant, students are asked how much they would like to tip after eating their virtual meal. For a $100 bill, I usually get about $5 at most.

As you can see, tipping is only “Expected” in the West. Although there are a few exceptions like Mexico, you shouldn’t expect to get a tip as a waiter, especially as a virtual waiter!

3. South Koreans Do Not Eat Fatty Foods

In Lingoland, South Koreans frequently order lobster and shrimp, but they do not order that many fatty foods. To no surprise, the average Korean eats 130 pounds of seafood every year, 6th most of any country in the world!

Meanwhile, South Koreans do not eat a lot of fat. The average South Korean eats only 20.4 grams of fat compared to an American who eats 65 grams.

Lingoland: 30% Off for Students, Hiring Tutors

If you’re an English or Spanish teacher or student, check out our site here: http://PlayLingoland.com — For a limited time, you can receive a 30% discount. We’re also hiring tutors!

Did you like this article, please recommend it on Medium!

Next Story — Week 2 of Lingoland: Unintentionally Social
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Week 2 of Lingoland: Unintentionally Social

This is a follow up to my first article about Lingoland, “Week 1: My Users Are My Friends.”

The first week of any product launch is exciting, but the following weeks are what really matters. Attracting more new users is great, but seeing them come back the next day means you’re on the right track.

For Lingoland, retaining users is massively because a community relies on active users. Who would want to attend a workout class where everyone is a new face every time? Humans are inherently social beings, and we like to feel like we belong in a community.

Despite this, I’m still blown away by how social Lingoland is becoming. Here are 3 social I’m seeing emerge:

1. Users invite their friends

Startups frequently talk about how virality is an engineer-able feature. Hell, Chuck and I even built a product called GraphMuse based on that very concept–we increased the number of friends users invited to Facebook apps (Facebook shut us down in 2013). However, not all products need to include this type of feature to be viral.

With Lingoland, we haven’t focused on any viral feature (we haven’t had the time!), but users are still inviting their friends. In fact, downloading and playing Lingoland is still a bit of a challenge:

1. You can’t find us on Google yet

2. You need to dance around your Norton Antivirus to run Lingoland

3. There are still plenty of bugs

Despite all of this, at least 30% of our users were invited by a friend via word of mouth. This is incredible! Given how social our product is, I wouldn’t doubt the key to our success likely hinges on friendship.

2. Users stream gameplay to their friends

I logged into a Google Hangouts English learning group only to see that one of the users was streaming our game to everyone else. Not everyone could download the game (we’re only supporting Windows/OSX to start), but everyone wanted to watch.

3. Users login to just “hang out”

The most exciting thing I see happening is that users login to just “hang out,” which I love! This might sound bizarre at first, but when I think back to most of my life, many of my closest friendships were formed online (my cofounder Chuck being one of them!).

Interestingly enough, the fact Lingoland is focused exclusively on language learning also makes “hanging out” with completely random people around the world less weird. I’m still uncomfortable about products like Second Life. When asked about these types of products, I find myself retorting, “Why not just hang out with your friends in the real world?”

However, when there’s an underlying reason to login, e.g. to improve one’s English, “hanging out” becomes less weird. That’s why I formed so many friendships on RPGs like World of Warcraft–we bonded over slaying dragons, not just “hanging out.”

For this, I’m grateful to have met so many awesome people from around the world. I’m always psyched when one of my user-friends come play (Elias, Vitor, Medo, Rebeca, Elimarcas, Luis, Ygor, Ayyoub, Zahra (and her brother), Cristian, Vanina, or Luong). Even as their English teacher, I learn something new from them every day.

Other awesome tidbits from the week:

We had 2 users offer to donate money (and recommended we create a Kickstarter), and a 12 year old boy named Hussein from Saudi Arabia who told me, “Tony, you’re going to be famous for Lingoland.” Although I don’t personally want to be famous (I’m humbled that he thought this), I do want Lingoland to become everyone’s favorite way to learn a language.

We also had a user, Hectorado from Canada, who figured out how to break out of the very limited virtual house by moving the air conditioner, table, and pillows. He managed to get on the roof:

Lingoland is also growing, come check it out: PlayLingoland.com

Next Story — Takeaways from Running Bay to Breakers Wearing a Gear VR Headset
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Takeaways from Running Bay to Breakers Wearing a Gear VR Headset

As a VR enthusiast, I wanted to test the limits of VR/AR, bodily disassociation, and simulation sickness. Bay to Breakers seemed like the prime opportunity to test this, especially after I was nominated by Zappos to break a “Bizarre World Record” — the longest distance run while wearing a VR headset.

Getting nominated for my “Bizarre World Record” on stage

The race is 7.4 miles across the entirety of San Francisco. Around the city, up hills, through the park, and alongside 80,000 runners. What a great idea for a VR geek!

The Gear VR headset has a setting called “Passthrough Camera,” which allows you to see what your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 tablet camera is viewing. Your field of view is very limited (practically no peripheral vision), the frame rate is poor, and there is no optical image stabilization (everything jitters terribly). Think of it as a 1995 home video shot on a dune buggy driving over 4 inch rocks.

The Gear VR Passthrough Camera. You can’t see much.

Given I have a strong stomach and generally don’t experience simulation sickness, I wanted to push my body’s limits. If running the Gear VR for 7.4 miles didn’t make me sick, nothing would. Here are my biggest discoveries:

Mile 1: “I Might Bump Into You”

The beginning of Bay to Breakers is like releasing 10,000 bulls from their pin. People are running in front of you, next to you, and behind you. Given the Passthrough Camera’s limited field of view, I bumped about 10 people in the first few minutes.

I couldn’t see my arms, and I certainly couldn’t see anyone next to me. I would frequently bump shoulders with the runners next to me. Luckily, after saying sorry and after they realized I was running half blind, they didn’t shove me back in retaliation.

Up the Hayes Valley Hill, panting for air.

Mile 2: “Don’t Look Down, Left, Right… Just Straight”

There are so many reasons to want to turn your head during Bay to Breakers. People are wearing crazy costumes, and doing crazy things. However, this is the last thing you want to do wearing a Gear VR in Passthrough Camera mode. On the simulation sickness scale, this definitely scored on the higher end. Once I stopped looking around and accepted my 7.4 mile fate, I only looked forward.

Mile 3: “The Gear VR wasn’t built for this”

The Gear VR is designed for consumers. While Oculus & Valve’s Vive are designed for the more hardcore user, the Gear VR is the casual consumer’s VR headset. At $200, the Gear VR is great for watching 360 videos and playing iOS/Android-like games. That said, none of these headsets are designed with exercising in mind, especially running.

Luckily, the Gear VR headset stayed on my face. It didn’t move nearly as much as I thought it would, and I wasn’t running on my toes or trying to break my fall. Samsung really nailed the hardware. The Gear was fairly comfortable for the entire race. This was surprising to me even as someone who wears the Gear for a 6 hour flight uninterrupted.

Mile 5: “Are These My Arms?”

At around mile 5, I began to feel like my arms and legs weren’t mine. I was becoming disassociated with my body, partially due to the fact it was on automation mode — “run, run, run” — but more so due to seeing my arms and legs as if they were in a movie. They felt detached like they belonged to someone else.

This was undoubtedly the most bizarre part of my experience and I began to run with my arms up higher so I could amplify the feeling of disassociation. At this point, I also was running much faster… possibly because I was completely disassociated. More future testing required!

The weirdest thing? Taking a selfie. Looking at your phone’s screen of yourself on a screen is just plain WEIRD. No use in trying to describe this. Try it yourself.

Yes, I suffer from the “Michael Jordan tongue” syndrome.

Mile 7 “Mmm… Sweaty Lenses”

Until the very end of the race, my sweat hadn’t dripped onto the lenses. The Gear’s padding is soft and absorbent, so it actually works well for exercising. I did use some anti-fog spray beforehand, which helped a lot. The lenses didn’t fog at all, and I could see perfectly clearly most of the race.

DONE.

Obviously, I was elated to finish the race. I ran the race in an hour flat, which calculates to an ~8 minute per mile pace. The battery was around 65% upon completing the race too. I am now the world record holder for the longest distance run while wearing a VR headset (I dare you to beat my record), but more importantly, I see a vibrant future for both VR/AR in sports and exercise.

For non-exercise applications, nausea is mostly a solved problem assuming developers and designers don’t abuse the medium, and in 3 years, I don’t doubt the size and weight of VR/AR headsets will be light and compact.

The future excites me.

PS: If you love VR, I’m the founder of Learn Immersive, an immersive language learning platform for teachers and students.

Next Story — On Building Products like CrossFit and Hack Reactor, not 24 Hour Fitness and Coursera
Currently Reading - On Building Products like CrossFit and Hack Reactor, not 24 Hour Fitness and Coursera

On Building Products like CrossFit and Hack Reactor, not 24 Hour Fitness and Coursera

When building products, we often applaud growth and scale over raw value in niche markets. How do we avoid this?

Today, CrossFit has nearly 10,000 locations and is the fastest growing fitness program in the world. However, in 2005, there were only 18 affiliate gyms and a few thousand CrossFitters. Most of these people were military personnel or first responders. Fast forward 10 years, CrossFit has rocketed to the mainstream, but it still isn’t for the average gym goer. Far from it.

Hack Reactor peer coding review

Similarly, in computer science education, Hack Reactor has been making waves. Their 12 week bootcamp prepares soon-to-be software engineers for full-time jobs at top Silicon Valley tech companies. How intense is their program? Intense. 11 hours per day, 6 days a week for 3 months. What’s the total cost? $17,780.

What do CrossFit and Hack Reactor have in common?

The first CrossFit in a Santa Cruz garage, not quite what you’d expect.

If you were to analyze both of these companies on day 1, you would say they are (1) intensive, (2) “high touch,” and (3) don’t scale. How could you? CrossFit was founded in a Santa Cruz garage, and Hack Reactor is practically 1-on-1 tutoring on steroids. However, what’s important is the amount of value they are creating.

When you create immense value for a small number of people with specific needs, you spawn perfect customers. These customers are loyal, they pay more, and they tell their friends. As a startup, finding these customers should be your number one priority, even if it means sacrificing many less important customers.

In Paul Graham’s essay, “Do Things That Don’t Scale,” he details precisely this–delight a small number of users by whatever means necessary. Recruit your users. Send them thank you notes in the mail. Get creative.

Look at Airbnb, they went door to door in NYC convincing people to list their apartments on the site, and took photos of each apartment themselves. Turns out that worked, and they learned a lot from their users by doing so.

Dangers of the Mainstream

In contrast, let’s look at 24 Hour Fitness or Coursera. Across all US gyms, 67% of people with a gym membership never go. In a study on MOOCs like Coursera, 29 courses averaged a 6.8% completion rate. This means for every 100,000 people that sign up, only 6,800 complete the class.

These are two companies fighting retention wars. They are sifting through thousands of people trying to reach the customers that they really care about. Their cost per acquisition is higher, and there’s no social bonding. Imagine attending a college lecture where only 7 out of 100 students show up, or going to a weekly workout class where it’s always everyone’s first time.

That’s not to say these aren’t respectable successful businesses. In fact, I’ve taken Coursera classes, and I pay for a 24 Hour Fitness membership. Both of these companies need to exist in the world, but as a startup, building this type of company is harder, and likely requires a lot more capital.

You are much more likely to delight a small number of users you understand well in a niche market.

Expanding Niche Markets

The best niche markets can be expanded, but often this is out of your control. Whole Foods is a great example. In 1999, they were far from mainstream. The public did not care about organic natural goods then. Now they do. For the last 7–10 years, that market has grown 20% each year on average making it the fastest growing segment of agriculture.

Did Whole Foods do this alone? No, but they certainly contributed, and their loyal customers then are probably just as loyal today. CrossFit’s market is no different, and we’ll see how Hack Reactor expands over time. Sometimes niche markets don’t expand.

Why This Matters for Language Learning

We assign you a dedicated tutor in VR.

Here at Learn Immersive, we are creating the ultimate language learning bootcamp in VR. This program is not for the average person who might purchase Rosetta Stone, or practice Duolingo every few days. We are seeking eager students who are serious about getting results. Our program is 30 minutes 3 times per week for 6 weeks in VR with a tutor.

Are you about to go to Paris? A Nicaraguan construction site? Wherever you need to perform, we’ll create that environment. In addition, we work with your tutor to provide you flashcards and grammar lessons. In order to track your progress, we’ve created a speech analytics engine that identifies strengths and weaknesses in your conversations.

Don’t have an Oculus? We’ll lend you one. We’ll do whatever it takes to get you the results you need. If we don’t, we’ll refund you the full cost of the program.

Interested in our bootcamp? Check out our website: LearnImmersive.com.

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