Ep008: Dr. Jordan Shlain on Being a Philosopher in Search of a Question

By November 15, 2016Podcast

On this episode, Dr.G is joined by the highly sought after doctor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist, and philosopher, Dr. Jordan Shlain. As a purveyor of subtleties in health, Dr. Shlain challenges our preconceptions of health and medicine and provides a provocative perspective on how we can overcome the biggest challenges that face our industry. Dr. Shlain shares his personal story of how he built one of the most successful concierge medical practices on the backs of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – where he learned how to deliver a five start customer experience for his patients. He takes us behind the scenes of how his patients helped inspire him to build his digital health venture, Healthloop; and why he believes we need a new voice in healthcare through his latest media venture, Tincture. Taking us back to his early childhood, Dr. Shlain shares never-before-told stories that have influenced his thinking over the years. Simply stated, he takes us on intellectual journey that will blow your mind. All this and more on today’s episode. Now, That’s Unusual.

About Dr. Jordan Shlain

Dr. Jordan Shlain is an activist and philosopher in the field of health and medicine. He is the founder and chairman of Healthloop, a digital health venture that automates follow-up care and tracks patient progress, as well as the founding editor of Tincture, an online publication of open-source thoughtwear for leaders in health and wellness. Dr. Shlain provides a provocative perspective regarding how we might overcome the biggest challenges we face in health care.

Dr. Shlain founded Private Medical, a successful concierge medical practice. Initially partnering with the Mandarin Hotel, he created an empathy-driven approach to his patients modeled after the hospitality industry. Dr. Shlain works to promote that commitment to five-star service and revolutionize the way we do medicine.

Key Interview Takeaways

Medicine, at its core, is a conversation between a doctor and a patient to solve a problem. Dr. Shlain contends that the empathetic expert, be it a doctor or nurse, should ask not only, “What’s the matter with you?” but also, “What matters to you?” Through this dialogue, the two can work together to craft a workable treatment plan.

To be meaningful, technology needs to offer the user preferences and be contextual, relevant, actionable and shareable. Dr. Shlain created Healthloop with these principles in mind to follow up with patients, collect data, and deliver bite-sized information at appropriate times during recovery. In the Healthloop system, the doctor’s office calls the patient when a concern surfaces, and the inbound phone call volume to medical practices is reduced by 70%.

“Change always starts with a small group of people banging a drum.” Dr. Shlain maintains that our health care system requires a systematic change initiated by courageous leaders who are willing to take risks. To that end, he started the online publication Tincture in an effort to get the right conversation going via a platform in which we can “allow ourselves the uncomfortable luxury of changing our mind.”

We must recraft the language of medicine to remove the jargon. Dr. Shlain argues that it is important to call things what they really are, rather than masking the human suffering at the heart of generic terms like “readmission rate” and “consumer friendly.” The consumer mindset is one of excitement, an exercise of free will to buy products or services that will add to their lives. Meanwhile, a patient’s mindset is one of anxiousness as they choose from limited options to get their lives back.

Learn More About Dr. Jordan Shlain

LinkedIn Profile

Facebook Page






The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson

The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

%d bloggers like this: