Residency was hard enough…can you imagine launching a startup as well? Well my podcast guest did exactly that! Dr. Greg Hanson is a 3rd year interventional radiology resident in Philadelphia, spent months looking for side gig opportunities himself, and felt there could be a better way of doing so. This led to the launch of FlipMD, a web platform for physicians focused on getting side jobs outside of their main clinical practice as a source of extra income, that now attracts hundreds of doctors each month. You’ll learn how this young entrepreneur is able to successfully juggle everything from his clinical day job, family, and a pandemic, while still managing investors and new clients for his internet startup. If you say you don’t have time to start a business, you may think twice after listening to his inspiring story!
LINKS MENTIONED: FlipMD – online marketplace for physicians to offer their knowledge and experience to clients seeking medical expertise https://www.flip-md.com Contact Info: Greg Hanson, MD – email@example.com
Dr. Mike: I know it’s been a crazy year and it’s certainly been a lot of stress for many of us, but how many of you would want to start up a business? I know many of you do, but want to start a business and probably the craziest year in existence of mankind.
Just so happens. I happen to have a gentleman who did just that and get this guys. Not only is he starting up a startup during a pandemic. He’s also a third year resident. Dr. Greg Hanson is an interventional radiology resident in Philadelphia. He graduated from UCLA. With a bachelor’s of atmospheric and oceanic sciences before moving to New York city, you obtained his master’s of public health and epidemiology.
Some of them I’d have with advanced certificate and applied by statistics that his medical degree at Dartmouth and in June of 2018 started a surgical internship. And then the next year, when it’s to becoming interventional radiology, he has stood up eight. A company called flippant deal. We’re going to find out more about what that is, why he decided to launch it, but without further ado, Dr. Greg Hanson, thank you for joining me on the program today.
Greg Hanson: Thanks so much for having me excited to chat a little bit. Yeah.
Dr. Mike: And what’s funny is we just found out that we actually went to the same high school of all things. This is probably a first on, on this call. We went to Jesuit High School up in the Carmichael’s or Sacramento, California.
I graduated in many years. Prior to him, but it’s very cool. How, there was something in the water at at Jesuit that led to this entrepreneurship physician thing. I don’t know. But again it, and you also went to my Alma mater for a few years, UC San Diego. Do you ever have plans to going back to the west coast?
Greg Hanson: I was gonna say, that’s a great question. It’s really a lot of it’s up to my wife where she wants to go, but we’re like in Philadelphia, but I’ve been on the east coast now for 10 years this month. And wouldn’t mind getting back to the west coast somewhere, whether that’s California or Oregon or Washington, it would be be nice to be back on the west coast.
So we’ll see. I don’t end it until 2024, but yeah.
Dr. Mike: I do see if you’re watching on the YouTube video, you have, you do have this UCLA blazoned on your on your clothing right there, but I’m not going to do what most obnoxious Californians do. And just telling you about, how’s the weather on the east coast.
We’re not getting you. Any of that, do you let you know, it is gloomy and rainy here. So if the guys have any constellation, but what I want to talk about is, I have, I’ve had a number of physician entrepreneurs on the program. And many of them have started their businesses, prior to 2020.
And I know there’s a lot of stress involved, certainly. Going into medical school, getting, going into residency, being a resident which you are now a PGY-3 , I believe. Wait, does it go four years? Or how far in your training is it?
Greg Hanson: Yes, I’m done a surgical intern year. And then I’m about one and a half years into the diagnostic portion, which is three years total. And then you go to two years of interventional radiology.
Dr. Mike: I’m such an old guy. I don’t even remember the residency. So you got to forgive me but as I always say, a lot of stress being a resident, a lot of stress, being married, a lot of stress, having a kid and a lot of stress on starting a business, you decided to do all of this and you’re currently balancing and juggling all of that.
So what kind of led you to deciding to start a business during your residency, as opposed to after residency?
Greg Hanson: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I can give you a little background on who I am and why we did this. So starting off in my surgical intern year, you work between 80 hours and what you want to put on, basically your hours for him.
And we worked a lot of hours and then I roughly transitioned over to diagnostic radiology, where I got half of my life back. So I was working 45 hours instead of 80 to 90, depending on what rotation I was in. But like you said, at the same time I have a wife. I had a two year old at the time who was just starting school.
And we also bought a house down in south Philadelphia and we needed to figure out a way to make some extra money. And I couldn’t Moonlight yet because I was a PGY-2 two. And so another stressor buying a house… life stresses. So I couldn’t move. And I was like I have an MPH and I have my MD.
Let’s see if I can do anything with it. And that’s what I did. I basically threw myself out there and said, I will help with data analysis. I’ll ghost, write a paper for you. I’ll help with FDA stuff, I’ll help with IRB. So I really did a lot of different, weird, interesting things to make a little bit of extra income and ended up making quite a bit.
So working between 5 and 10 hours, I made $30,000 in six months doing that and really built up a reputation of being able to get things done quickly. And that’s how we thought of this business, to be honest. So towards the end of last year in June, we. We’re actually coming back from a vacation on a cabin that was very isolated because of COVID when we were supposed to be in Paris.
And we said, why can’t we do this for other physicians that are looking to get outside of clinical medicine and do something else completely. And so that was the idea for flip MDA. And then from there we just sprinted and we launched and we figured it out and we’ve been figuring it out now for five months.
I definitely want to talk about flip MD, but I know you breezed through a lot of these things because. I hope you know, what you’re doing is quite unusual. Now you said you have a reputation for either productivity or organization. Did that start back, in medical school or, what kind of things that led you to be more productive and maybe have this reputation?
That was definitely a surgical intern year. So going through that and knowing that you can basically work 24 to 28 hours, depending on the shift in a row and still be productive and get things done that you need to it was really the surgical intern year. So waking up at four 30 in the morning and.
Stand at the hospital until 8. If you’re on vascular surgery and you have cases that are going long, it’s a, you learn what hard work is. And then when you transition over to something, that’s a little bit less heavy. I tried to keep that and I would still wake up at 4:30 in the morning and do other things, whether that was going to the gym or whether that was doing a little bit of work on the side or studying.
But yeah, it was definitely the surgical intern year medical school. I definitely worked hard, but not as hard as anywhere near that intern year. That was that was the hardest year I’ve ever had to do. And it was also a lot of fun though.
Dr. Mike: So did you have to learn to give up things? And also is your wife also working?
Greg Hanson: I’m sure. There’s a lot of things, especially when raising a child that you can, you’re gonna have to make some sacrifices here. Yeah, luckily she was doing some consulting work. So she’s her entire history is in ebook publishing. So in that world, she worked at a Harper Collins and Kaplan test prep.
And then when we moved to Philadelphia, she had basically a consulting gig with Barnes and noble. And so she was doing that from home when she could. But yeah, we had a seven month old at the time when we basically started internship. So it was definitely hard. Definitely some some sleepless nights and it was hard on everybody.
A surgical intern. You’re not just, I give a lot of props to anybody that can go through an entire surgical residency. It’s a lot of hard work. And there is a lot of sacrifices that you make. And even as an intern, you make those same sacrifices and hopefully you come out a better physician at the end of it.
Dr. Mike: So you knew that you got this house, you knew that you needed to make extra money. You found a way of getting a side gig, during your residency, what made you decide to say, Hey, you know what? I can start a business to help other doctors do this.
Greg Hanson: Honestly, it’s never been part of me to ever want to do anything business-related or entrepreneurial.
And we honestly thought we saw something in the market that hadn’t really been tapped into yet, and we decided to give it a shot. Basically. And we said it’s a good enough market to go into without having any experience at all. And we’ve learned a lot through it. It’s a very odd thing that I really never thought I’d be doing and never thought I would be doing a startup or doing anything like this.
It is a lot of fun though. Using something, using a side of my brain that I’ve never used before. In order to figure out how to make it work. But yeah, it’s never saw this coming whatsoever.
Dr. Mike: So what were the kinds of obstacles when you were looking for jobs that FlipMD hopes to
Greg Hanson: address?
It’s sourcing them. That’s the hardest part is figuring out where do you find these people that need physicians? Because there are a lot of different industries that need physician expertise. It’s just, where do you actually find that people without having to spend your entire time actually trying to find those actual jobs?
And so that’s what we’re doing now. On the platform. We work with startups. We work with VCs that are looking for due diligence. We work with pharma device lawyers, medical education companies. Really, it runs the gambit of what we’re trying to do. And those are the same things that I was doing last year, just at a smaller scale.
But yeah, honestly the hardest part is figuring out where to find those people that currently need physicians. And that’s the market we saw was a centralized platform to do that.
Dr. Mike: Greg, I’ve still tried to get on you cause I want to know why you said, I want to start a business during my residency because what you mentioned. For example, the jobs that you had, how did you find those jobs? If you want to give some examples and what kind of difficulties did you have?
Greg Hanson: Yeah, we use basically another platform that is not meant for physicians. And I posted my profile up and said, Hey, I’m a physician.
If you guys are interested in basically work with, to work with physician and that’s. How I started out doing it, and then basically created a little bit of a client list that had repeat projects to do a lot of it was data analysis. So using that MPH degree one of the odd ones that I had to come by was a, another physician that was starting another company related to PPE during COVID.
And he just didn’t have time to find really good credible links for COVID resources. And so he tasked me with doing that and that ended up being a $2,000 job that took. 10 to 15 hours. So it’s those kinds of things that we’re looking for that are really honestly difficult to find. And unless you have something like this that can draw people in, then it’s a little bit easier.
Dr. Mike: Now I have to ask does your residency know? And how have they took it where it was?
Greg Hanson: Yeah. A few people k now. So most of my co-residents know what I’m doing. And then my program director knows what I’m doing. I told him way back early in kind of July when we were just starting out that I was going to try something and see what happens.
So yeah, he knows. And then a few of my other attendings know as well just from having conversations with them, but I’m not not blasted out into the world at my own hospital that I’m doing this. I’m mostly trying to stay a little bit under the radar as a resident.
Dr. Mike: Yeah, because you definitely, someone who’s had.
Other doctors, not necessarily being a resident, there’s always someone who especially, knock on wood, kind of takes off and goes crazy. Then they’ll be coming for, their piece of the price. You always wanted to make sure that the people who are.
Should know, do know
Greg Hanson: It’s exactly what my program director said too.
Dr. Mike: So you got this idea. Did you have a tech background or did you hire a programmer to put together a website for you?
Greg Hanson: Yeah, I have no technical background at all. It was really, we needed to find somebody that could do it. And we found a development team that was able to.
Do it and do it relatively quickly and put together the website and it functions well. It is not the most beautiful website you’ll ever see and that’s something we’re working on to change. But it does function and it works and yeah, no, me and my wife, both of us do not have a coding background or anything like that. So we needed to find a solution and we were able to find one, luckily.
Dr. Mike: And where’s your wife? Was she a proponent to starting this app?
Greg Hanson: Yeah. She’s a big part of it. So she’s the CEO of the company. She runs the day to day and she does basically everything. So it’s not just me.
That’s doing this is very much not just me is very much a split of work. And we’re both working pretty hard and putting in the hours to build this, but it’s a lot of the credit has to go to her because she’s worked your butt off to do this.
Dr. Mike: So you’ve got a website and you’ve got this. And what I like to do is just digging in, in the mind of the entrepreneur how you get there and how you move past this. Because a lot of people who are listening, who, I call them more entrepreneurs than entrepreneurs and they know how to get a website.
They may not how to get a programmer for what was the biggest hurdle for you. Was it getting the attraction of these other companies? It’s to show us that you don’t really have a track record, I assume. Was that difficult? Was there something else?
Greg Hanson: Yeah, that’s honestly, the hardest part is figuring out how to balance.
So it’s a two-sided marketplace. So you have clients that are like the startups, the pharma, the device companies, and then you have the consultants. So the physicians balancing out how to attack. Both of those has been the hardest thing because you have to be able to balance it a little bit. So if you have a ton of jobs, but you have no physicians to fill them, then it’s completely useless.
And if you have a ton of physicians without jobs. And it’s completely useless also. So figuring out that balance and striking the balance correctly is extremely hard and we’re still working on it and trying to figure out exactly which side of the platform we need to work on at the moment. But we figured out a pretty good way of growing relatively organically and figuring out a way to get both to grow at the same time. But that is easily the hardest part.
Dr. Mike: So tell me about this and then let’s give the URL right now. It’s a flip-md.conflict-md.com. How did how did you get your initial physicians? I assume maybe your other co-residents. Our friends, physician, friends?
Greg Hanson: Yeah, a little bit a little bit of, yeah, that, but truthfully we went out and we brewed, forced a lot of this.
So we would go on LinkedIn and message people and say…Hey, we’re starting this thing. Are you interested in joining? Or going on Facebook groups, so saying, Hey, we’re doing this. Anybody interested in joining? And we have nothing right now. So it’s really just putting up a profile with the hope that we’re able to sell this to somebody that is interested in posting a job on there.
And maybe you’ll make some money. That was really how we started back in July and it’s grown pretty quickly. So we started literally with nobody on the platform, July 27th. And today we have about 1400 physicians on it right now. And we’re trying to aggressively grow at this point, but yeah, that’s how we started was.
Just talking to people. We’ve spent no money on marketing to either side. So yeah, that’s that’s how we started and we’re going to continue to grow that way, but hopefully we can also throw some money at it. Some of the marketing stuff as well, eventually, but yeah.
Dr. Mike: It doesn’t cost a physician to put a profile on it right now, right?
Greg Hanson: Correct. Yeah. There’s no. So there’s no cost. There is that it’s completely free to join as a physician and actually it’s completely free to join as a client as well. So we want to basically eliminate any barriers of entry for both the physician and the client. The way that we’re monetizing the platform is we take basically a 20% cut of the first thousand dollars of a project.
That’s with one particular client, and then it goes down to 10% after that. Which is pretty similar on a lot of the other freelancing platforms out there. So it’s the same kind of monetization, but it’s completely free to join. It’s completely free for people to post jobs. So we’ve actually had some physicians, post jobs as well to other physicians.
So yeah that’s how we monetize it and that’s, we’re trying to keep it that way for a long time. So that. There really aren’t hopefully going to be any barriers between a physician working with a startup that is doing something really interesting. That’s the whole, that’s the whole point of this.
Dr. Mike: So give me an examples of some type of jobs that you hope to have on the site.
Greg Hanson: Yeah. So we’ve actually had a fair amount of the jobs that I was really hoping to have already, which is great. So we working with a couple of AI companies that are working in different spaces, one example is a couple of weeks ago, we had the startup founder of a AI company that’s within kind of psychiatric mental health that’s operating in stealth mode.
So they don’t want to tell too much about what they’re doing, but he was looking for a grant writer that has a grant writing experience within psychiatry for NIH and NIH grants. So that was a $18,000 job that was posted. And it’s basically 20 to 40 hours of work. We’ve had other jobs. So we had a BC firm that needed to talk to five precision medical oncologists about a new platform that was coming out, that they were thinking about investing in.
That was $1,500 an hour. We’ve had PR and marketing firms. I needed to talk to orthopedic surgeons. So that was a $600 an hour job. And then we’ve had medical education companies that need help writing their Q banks or reviewing their articles that they have on their website. That’s a really good resident job that was 30 to $45 an hour.
So it’s really, it runs the gambit on types of jobs and then also compensation. And we have opened up the medical expert witness portion of the website as well. So we’ve had a couple of jobs posted for looking for physicians for expert witness.
Dr. Mike: But generally these are nonclinical.
Greg Hanson: Yeah. Completely nonclinical. We do not want to get into telemedicine or anything like that. That is not the goal of flipMD. I also don’t want that liability. So yeah, we’re a completely nonclinical kind of project based jobs now.
Dr. Mike: You’ve already have gotten a lot of interest in what I’ve run into coaching with.
Like my consulting work, I coach physicians and I’m sure you’ve run into this too, where a physician says, you know what? I just, all I need to do is become a physician. Is there any advice you could give as someone who is young and you’re in your medical career and was successful at getting other jobs, what they can do to expand there?
And I know it’s self-deprecating when they say just a physician, but they feel that they can’t do anything. Past that what advice would you give for someone who wants to expand monster, who’s attracted to some of these jobs? What can we do to make them an, a much more attractive job candidate?
Greg Hanson: I think that physicians need to realize that they’re much more than just a physician. Like you said, there’s so much thing is there’s so many things that a physician can do. They’re usually extremely smart. They’re very driven. And they’re curious, that’s what we’ve seen on the platform so far.
And that’s my own, like my own history. Like I’ve I know that if I put my head down and work at something hard enough and can figure out ways to make it work, then we’ll see what happens. But for physicians that are saying, they’re just physicians, there are so many industries out there that are.
Interested in dying to work with you because of your domain expertise that you have that no one else has. So that’s one of the issues that I see on the platform too, is that people undervalue themselves, people think, oh, that jobs posted at… $20,000. I’ll bid on it at 5,000, because I don’t think I have the expertise, but you do, you have the expertise, you went through four years of college, you went through four years of med school, plus potentially a PhD or an MPH, whatever it is, you will then went through residency.
You’re a practicing physician. Like you have expertise that no one else has, and you should not be scared to go out and use that.
Dr. Mike: Yeah. And I think, just simple things too, even just like learning how to create a resume that attracts, clients is one thing. And for many of us, we don’t, we either…
forget how to do a resume or it’s all clinically based. Some of the skills that you have, you may not necessarily have had a bunch of expert witness expertise, but you’ve had a lot of clinical. You may have had a lot of clinical decisions that you’ve had to make. Having that translate that into a resume or into a profile that can be com attractive is a strength that, I think you just need to learn. Would you agree?
Greg Hanson: I definitely agree. And one of the other aspects of, why we wanted to do this also was because there’s a ton of people that are interested in potentially switching to a nonclinical career. Full time. And this is hopefully a way that they can get their feet wet a little bit and maybe meet that company that they do a project with.
And they’re like now we want to hire you as X, either as COO or chief medical officer or medical affairs professional. So that’s another reason that we wanted to do it because we saw so many people, especially on Facebook groups that are interested in doing something completely different outside of clinical medicine, especially after going through COVID.
Put yourself out there, like you said, remember how to reword your CV or your resume. Write a cover letter and go out and try something new if that’s what you’re interested in doing.
Dr. Mike: And I know one thing about … Putting yourself out there, getting yourself on the job boards.
A lot of them are not looking to, replace their clinical job. So of course there’s some that are, but they may also be, more private that it’s out there. And it sounds like FlipMD is. Is the solution to that, that you’re not necessarily blasting out your resume to Google or to the social media, correct. You’ve got some privacy filters involved.
Greg Hanson: Exactly. Yeah. And actually that’s something that we’ve done from pretty early on is we basically take your last name and turn it into a letter. And then really the only people that can find you are people that are actually posting jobs. So there’s, it’s not publicly available information that you’re interested in doing anything outside of medicine, if that’s what you want.
So yeah it’s pretty anonymous. You don’t have to put up a picture or anything like that if you don’t want to. And yeah, it’s pretty nice to be able to just put yourself out there and see if you can find something that’s a little bit different outside of medicine that. You may have never known you wanted to do that’s what a lot of the physicians have told us too, is that, working with, especially the startups that are really trying to change. Medicine and healthcare for the better is one of the more interesting things for them to do because they’re so fresh and have great ideas. And it’s great that hopefully practicing physicians can come help guide them to the decisions and build their companies in a way that’s going to change medicine for the better.
Dr. Mike: Now, I know you said that, right now, you’re doing this for free on both sides with the revenue model hopes to be acquired. By some type of big company. But what are the plans for flipping D I’m sure you’ve got some things that you got considering or adding anything you want to share right now.
Greg Hanson: Yeah, we have quite a few plans for the future. Some of those we won’t discuss today just because they’re in the works and figuring out how to make them work and have pretty big plans for the platform. I’ll tell you one of the things that we’re doing and we’re currently, I’m actually starting to do it is actually we’re jumping into your world a little bit. So we’re creating a podcast. And this podcast is specifically for, we’ve had a lot of people interested in basically investing whether it’s in our company or in startups in general.
And so that’s one of the things that we hope to do is bring, it’s basically going to be a pitch event for startups that we’ve seen and met along the way that are doing really interesting and innovative things to come onto a podcast for 20 or 30 minutes, talk about their company and really.
Pitch physician investors that are interested in potentially investing. And we’re also going to use it as a vehicle to teach physicians what it means to actually angel invest because I, myself never knew anything about investing. I didn’t know anything about safes or convertible notes or priced equity rounds.
All of this is learned information. That took five months, six months to actually learn. So that’s going to be another big piece of it is this educational piece. So we have one of our physician investors actually going to come on as the first podcast episode guest, and really talk about his journey into angel investing and then go through some of the more common terms you’re going to hear throughout the podcast and throughout these pitches.
So that’s something that we’re bringing up right now. It’s going to be called White Coat Capital and… we’ll we’ll see how it goes, but hopefully launch it in February. And actually one of my co-residents is going to be actually doing the podcast, not myself. I I don’t really have time to do that and not really super interested in hearing my voice all the time.
But that’s one thing that’s coming down the pipe for us, and then we’re really just going to try to continue growing the platform. And then we have a couple other ideas for how to make this a little bit bigger and more scalable.
Dr. Mike: I’m sure your residency director is just loving hearing this! This has been great. So let’s give the URL again for your company.
Greg Hanson: https://www.flip-md.com/ And that’ll get you right to the website. And there’s also a way if you don’t want to sign up right away, there’s a way to get job alerts.
So there’s a little tab up in the right-hand corner. It says get job alerts. We’ve had a lot of people do that so that you can at least stay tuned into what types of jobs are being posted. So if one kind of strikes your eye and you’re interested in applying that you can sign up then.
Dr. Mike: So right guys, so it’s flipped-md.com. It costs nothing for you to set up a profile. You could get job alerts. This is really good. And I think it really addresses an area where physicians just need to be more aware. When I was looking for side gigs, the short time that I was doing, I didn’t even know really where to go to.
And now you’ve got you got flip, empty there’s other places where you can go. And so it just helps more physicians. We didn’t talk about burnout, but certainly it’s something that It’s very prevalent as physicians. We don’t talk, we don’t want to let the residents know about every it’s all, it’s all peaches and cream right now, as you get older, there are some physicians who suffered again, not to not to trivialize that.
But it definitely is where they’re looking for different opportunities. They’re looking for different things in different ways to explore. So again, that the website is flipped-md.com. This has been Dr. Greg Hanson. And yeah. Thank you effort for coming on the program. Any last words that you want to share with the audience today?
Greg Hanson: Thanks for having me. If you guys do have any questions or thoughts or how we can make the platform better or whatever it is, just send me an email. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re very open to hearing from people. So we’re really trying to make something that is actually valuable to you. So feel free to reach out and let us know what we’re missing or what we should add.
Dr. Mike: Thank you again. And guys just like, as a Greg, don’t let anything stop you. Whether it’s a residency, whether it’s buying a house, even at a pandemic, it’s all about keep moving forward.