We’re excited to announce that Dr. Pat Carroll has joined Hims & Hers as its first Chief Medical Officer. Below is a blog post he authored describing a little about his story, why he joined our company and the bright future ahead.
Putting People Back at the Center of Healthcare
As doctors, we take a Hippocratic oath and pledge to do everything in our power to benefit our patients. When I was a family physician, so much of my life was about the lives of my patients. Being there for them through every important milestone. Helping them through their most vulnerable moments. Watching them grow up and grow older, and through it all, helping them live their healthiest lives.
I got into medicine to help people, but after more than 25 years of practicing it has become clear to me the healthcare system isn’t putting people first. I know there is a better path forward for patients and for doctors. I also know that left unaddressed, this troublesome trend will only continue to worsen unless action is taken to address it.
This is a big reason why I’m thrilled to announce I have left Walgreens and joined Hims & Hers as their first Chief Medical Officer. The team at Hims & Hers is forging a new path in telehealth, empowering more people to access quality affordable healthcare, and allowing doctors to do what they do best, treat patients so they can live happy and healthy lives.
Why Telehealth is the Future of Medicine
Hims & Hers is an incredible company that has built a platform to take millions of people off the sidelines and put them in charge of their health and wellness. It offers a convenient, accessible way to receive affordable, quality care and connects patients to independent, licensed physicians seamlessly.
I’ve seen many platforms and ideas come and go. I have seen attempts made to build tools that empower patients and doctors. Knowing what I know, this platform really has the potential to change the game, while maintaining a commitment to both access and quality care. I can’t say that about all the platforms I have seen.
Why? Because when I had my own medical practice, one of the key problems my patients confronted was access.
In my office, I often saw as many as 30 patients a day. Monday morning, I’d come into the office to find a glut of messages from people who’d called over the weekend with acute needs. I’d try to squeeze in the most urgent cases, but, by and large, they’d be hard-pressed to get on my schedule. I hated that.
This reflected a broader reality; it’s simply too hard for people to see a doctor when they need or want one. Today, people in major metropolitan areas face average wait times of 24 days to schedule a first-time appointment with a physician. And of course, those appointments are usually right in the middle of the day, when it’s most difficult for people to schedule time away from their job or family commitments.
On top of that, 65 million Americans live in “primary care deserts,” where there aren’t nearly enough doctors nearby to meet people’s medical needs. These deserts exist everywhere from big cities to small towns and rural areas. I spent years as a doctor on a Navajo reservation, where transportation was hard to come by and the nearest doctors’ offices and pharmacies were a long car ride away. Those barriers forced too many people out of the healthcare system entirely.
Hims & Hers completely changes that equation. As a direct-to-consumer telehealth company, it offers access to licensed physicians and select prescription and personal care products to consumers across the United States. That means you can open a conversation with a doctor about the conditions we cover at any time, day or night. And no matter how far you live from your nearest hospital or pharmacy, affordable, quality care is within reach.
Why Hims & Hers is Leading the Way
There are other telehealth companies operating right now, but what makes the Hims & Hers model so unique isn’t only because it’s expanding access. It’s also because it’s bringing transparent, affordable pricing to patients.
I can’t tell you how many times a patient would ask what a procedure would cost, and I couldn’t tell them. Not because I didn’t want to, but because insurance is so variable that often, I wouldn’t even have a good basis to guess. Suddenly, my patients were in a nearly impossible position, where they didn’t know if they could even afford the treatment I was recommending.
That’s going to change, too, because here’s what happens when you go to Hims & Hers: first, you fill out a comprehensive questionnaire with the same questions a doctor would ask at any in-person office or clinic. That detailed information goes to a doctor, who follows up with more questions as necessary, and evaluates whether a prescription would be a good fit for you.
If everything looks good to your doctor after an evaluation of all the relevant information, your prescription will arrive at your door in short order. And because of our transparent pricing, you’ll know exactly what it will cost. (The short answer: usually a lot less than you’d pay visiting a doctor in person and going to a retail pharmacy.)
Trust & Safety are Paramount and Core to Our Mission
The Hims & Hers mission is to help people live healthier lives. And with a mission like that comes with a deep responsibility. People aren’t just trusting us with some of the most intimate details about their lives; they’re also trusting us to help them feel better.
I’m committed to help earn our customers’ trust, every day and with each interaction. I’m also committed to ensure that we only put something on our platform if we’re completely confident it is safe and in the best interest of the customer.
As telehealth becomes a foundational part of the healthcare system, I believe this work will only be more important. I’m encouraged by how dedicated Hims & Hers is to showing what it takes for a company to do right and set an example for other companies to follow.
Bringing Healthcare to the People
My new job is the latest step in a journey I’ve been on to expand medical access in this country. When I left family medicine, I became Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at a primary care group where I oversaw the care of 20,000 patients. After that, when I was the CMO at Walgreens, my passion was working to expand healthcare access to patients across the country. Walgreens brought medical professionals into stores to help people with things like flu shots and treat minor illnesses. It was a huge step forward for access — and I helped implement a number of important services, like STI screenings and preventive medicine, within easy, affordable reach for consumers.
I’m really proud of everything we did to break down the barriers that prevent too many people from getting the care they need. And now, I’m excited to continue this work — and take it to the next level — at Hims & Hers.
Right now, we’re offering care in the areas people have the hardest time talking about with others, even their doctors. But looking forward, we’ll add more categories of care, so we can keep expanding access and empowering more people to take charge of more areas of their health.
None of the services we offer are intended to replace the existing healthcare system. Instead, we want to expand access to quality care. Our vision is an ecosystem where people have plenty of options to get the care that’s right for them. Depending on what they need, that might mean working with a company like Hims & Hers to access telehealth providers. Other times, it could mean seeing a primary care doctor in person, or making an appointment with a specialist.
The important part is that you’ll be able to get the care you need, on your terms. That’s a future I’m excited to help build — because that’s a healthcare system that is truly built to help people, which embodies the Hippocratic Oath I took and strive to fulfill every single day.