April 01, 2013
3 min read

Meeting sparks business platform for health care professionals, industry

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In this month’s column, we interview Gary M. Gartsman, MD. In addition to his work as an arthroscopic shoulder surgeon, Dr. Gartsman recently started G9MD.net, a web-based platform to bring shoulder-related education to students at all levels around the world.

Matthew DiPaola, MD; and Orrin I. Franko, MD

Matthew DiPaola, MD; and Orrin I. Franko, MD: Tell us how you decided to start your website G9MD.net? What is it? 

Gary M. Gartsman, MD: I thought about founding G9MD.net at the 2009 Annecy meeting that Laurent Lafosse, MD, puts on in France. I saw an audience of 700 people sitting in an auditorium watching a live operation on the screen. The procedure was interesting, the surgeon skillful and the educative value was high. I saw an Indian surgeon who had flown from Mumbai turned away because the auditorium was filled to capacity. I wondered why that surgeon (or any of us) would have to miss 5 days of work, fly half-way around the globe, spend thousands of dollars and sit in a chair for 8 hours? Why not take the video and put it on the Internet?


Matthew DiPaola


Orrin I. Franko

My partner and G9MD.net co-founder Justin Anderson had a similar idea at the same meeting. His background is in the medical device industry, and he was concerned about the money his company was spending to have a display booth at medical meetings without a significant return on their investment. Why not film company representatives or surgeon developers demonstrating their products, put it on the Internet and let surgeons review the information at their convenience?

Our concerns overlapped in the area of communication between the medical device industry and orthopedic surgeons. As we go into an uncertain future for health care, we need more interaction as surgeons are the customers and industry develops the products that we need.

DiPaola and Franko: You are a surgeon by training. What new skills did you have to learn to take on this venture?

Gartsman: I kept a list of all the skills I learned in 2011, but stopped when I reached 50. This is a whole new world for an orthopedic surgeon to enter. Fortunately, my business partner has more than 20 years behind him. Business skills included invoice writing, advertisement placement and contract negotiating. I am learning about website development, computer code writing, video and still image editing, blogs, forums, Internet TV, online education, computer languages, CME accreditation and e-learning techniques.

DiPaola and Franko: Speak, in general, about how you see online education changing the paradigm for surgical education.

Gartsman: We have powerful forces driving the need for online education. We need more education as technology becomes more complex, but traveling to educational venues is more expensive. Specialists no longer are able to attend a 3-day meeting just to hear the five to eight lectures relevant to their needs. All of these events will occur in an era of declining reimbursement. Online education will no longer be an option. It will become the new norm for information transference, and onsite meetings will evolve into what they can offer that is unique.

DiPaola and Franko: What are three of your top mobile apps and how do you use them?

Gartsman: Captio to send myself emails and use my inbox as my reminder and to-do list. With Captio, I open the app, type the note and hit send. No more searching for my name. Dropbox to access to all my files that I need access to from any mobile device. I no longer have to worry about which version of an article is the most recent. This also solves a lot of back-up worries as this is secure cloud storage, and Evernote, which is an easy way to clip articles of interest from my browser.

For more information:
Matthew DiPaola, MD, is an assistant professor and shoulder and elbow specialist in the Department of Orthopedics at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is a writer for iMedical Apps and co-founder of Touch Consult, a developer of team-based medical software to improve signout. He can be reached at matthew.dipaola@wrightstatephysicians.org.
Orrin I. Franko, MD, is a PGY4 orthopedic resident at UC San Diego. He has an interest in promoting mobile technology within orthopedic surgery and founded the website www.TopOrthoApps.com to help surgeons and trainees find the most relevant orthopedic apps for their mobile devices. He can be reached at orrin@toporthoapps.com.
Gary M. Gartsman, MD, can be reached at ggartsman@gmail.com.
Disclosures: DiPaola and Franko have no relevant financial disclosures. Gartsman is founder and owner of G9MD.net.