Change Reality, in Your First Year of Medical School, with Kevin Maloy, MD & #MakerDocs

2017.05.17 Hacking Healthcare Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington DC USA 5040
2017.05.17 Hacking Healthcare Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington DC USA 5040 (View on

When I was a first year medical student, no one offered to help me create software (I did it anyway, really simple stuff). In 2017, at Georgetown University School of Medicine, first year medical students go through the software creation lifecycle in a selective “Hacking Healthcare.”


It’s taught by Kevin Maloy, MD (@MaloyKr), aka MakerDoc aka Change Reality, Talk about Magic, Learn Javascript. MakerDocs DC from this blog in 2014.

Kevin asked me to come give feedback to this year’s class, and per my policy, if I can walk to it, I’ll do it 🙂 .

This year, they had the expert guidance of John Lock, the ridiculously more-experienced-than-I-will-ever-be Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the famed Mi2 Medstar Institute for Innovation, and fellow feedback provider Dave Milzman, MD, FACEP, Associate Dean for Student Research and Informatics.

For me, it’s less about what the teams create (because by definition they are exceptional people and will create great things in their lives), and more about the way they create, and the heart and soul they integrate along the way. I could tell in 7 sessions that they learned how to

  • Tell a story about why something matters
  • Understand a real business need and how to prototype to it
  • Work through others to execute on a vision
  • Collaborate as a group

These are all great skills I know they, their patients, and their communities will appreciate later on. Some people work entire careers to master these.

I don’t know how stealthy the ideas are so I won’t reveal them. I was super impressed at the connection of the ideas to actual health, AND the design ethic that they brought to the work. I can see how a medical school would do well to create a learning experience like this, capture the spirit, and then check to make sure at every step of training that it grows and thrives.

It’s always a pleasure to meet a new generation of MakerDocs, and to meet them under the watchful eye of W. Proctor Harvey, MD, especially when you read what he stood for:

A strong advocate of the human touch in medicine, Dr. Harvey had a gentle bedside manner that extended to shaking hands with every patient and plumping up their hospital-room pillows. He believed modern physicians had become too dependent on technology and other diagnostic tools and had lost the ability to work with patients on a simple, person-to-person level.” – Washington Post, 2007

1 Comment

Ted Eytan, MD