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FAQ for Professionals HELP
Individual Profiles
I can't find my profile. Where is it?

This question assumes that each person has a single profile -- an assumption that is usually false.

Authors have a separate page ("profile") for every topic on which they have published. Topics are defined by the indexing terms that PubMed assigns to [almost] every published paper.

For example, an author who publishes a clinical trial on Drug X vs. Drug Y to treat Disease Z will have pages under at least three topics: Drug X, Drug Y, and Disease Z.

OK, I understand that I have many pages on Expertscape.  But I can't find my page for Topic X.  Where is it?

It can indeed be tricky to find a particular author page. This is actually by design.

Expertscape aims to help its users find highly expert people or institutions. It is not really geared for authors to find their own pages, or, in general, for anyone to track down the pages of a particular author.

Expertscape organizes its information hierarchically:

  • First, by topic
    • e.g. asthma, pancreaticoduodenectomy, cyanosis, aspirin, albumin, etc.
  • Second, by geography
    • e.g. world, USA, Greece, Ohio, Napoli, Johns Hopkins, etc.
  • Third, by individual author.

So, the first step to finding your profile is specifying a topic and a geography.

To get the topic right, you may have to look at the indexing terms that PubMed has applied to your articles, because sometimes they make fine-grained distinctions which are not obvious.

To get the geography right is trickier, because, for many years, PubMed provided only the geography of first authors. This changed a few years ago, but, nevertheless, in many cases, if you have never been the first author of a paper, Expertscape will not know your location, and will assign your geography as "unspecified." If you have been the first author of a paper, or if PubMed knows your geography from a recent paper, then you will have an Expertscape entry under that geography.

Conglomerates
What is a "conglomerate"?

We define a "conglomerate" as an institution that:

  • administratively encompasses more than one sub-institution, in which
  • the cross-fertilization and sharing of ideas & knowledge between staff members of the sub-institutions does not approach that of a single institution.
Why are conglomerates defined?

To allow more rational comparisons between institutions.

Some medical institutions have assumed truly gigantic proportions, becoming "health systems." Administrative creations such as these generally do not alter the day-to-day working relationships among the staff members of the constituent sub-institutions and, more importantly, generally do not directly impact medical care of the patient.

The 1990s merger of the healthcare operations at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco is an excellent example of these problems. In theory, uniting the considerable expertise contained within each hospital should have produced a powerhouse of medical care. In actual practice, however, almost nothing changed at either hospital, and it took only a few years to realize that the complexities of managing two separate institutions outweighed the meager benefits of claiming they were one. The UCSF-Stanford merger was quietly undone a short time later.

Thus, in the eyes of consumers, we see no benefit in considering conglomerates as repositories of expertise. We list them on our web site, to acknowledge that they do indeed exist in the real world, but we do not include them in our leader pages.

What about academically-based conglomerates with a long history?

Depending on an institution's specifics, it may or may not be labelled a conglomerate.

Harvard University is an excellent example of the former -- a true conglomerate when it comes to medicine, even though many of its sub-institutions, e.g. Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital have been united under the Harvard banner for decades, with staff members at these sub-institutions all appointed to the Harvard University faculty.

In practice, however, the situation is not so unified, because staff members are primarily staff members at their individual hospitals. This separation is deep. For example, in cardiology, each hospital runs its own fellowship program to train new cardiologists, and the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at Brigham and Women's Hospital does not serve patients from Mass General or from Beth Israel. Brigham has the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, Mass General has Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, and Beth Israel has its CardioVascular Institute.

The situation at Johns Hopkins University is different. At Hopkins, the main healthcare sites are the flagship Johns Hopkins Hospital and the nearby Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and they are integrated to a large degree. Again, using a cardiology example, Bayview faculty attend in the general cardiology clinic at the flagship hospital, there is only one fellowship program covering both hospitals, and Bayview patients with advanced heart failure are referred to the cardiomyopathy service at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

With these differing degrees of cross-fertilization between constituent sub-institutions, we consider Harvard to be a conglomerate, and Hopkins as not.

Isn't the definition for "conglomerate" rather squishy?

Yes. In deciding whether an institution is a conglomerate, we are required to think a lot and know a lot. Some decisions are difficult, e.g. Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, which has four campuses that have been on an increasingly integrated path in recent years. We welcome your insights on particular institutions.

What about pediatric hospitals?

In major medical centers, the pediatrics department of decades ago has expanded into a full-fledged pediatric hospital. In practice, this division does not automatically make the encompassing organization a conglomerate, because even the biggest hospitals generally have only one pediatric organization, and so the cooperation between practitioners in the pediatric and the adult hospital is not impeded.

In other words, if an adult cardiologist has a patient that could benefit from the advice of a pediatric cardiologist, then there is really only one place for the adult cardiologist to turn to get that advice. The limitation on cross-fertilization in this case derives from the overlap (or lack thereof) between adult disease and pediatric disease, not from the separation of the pediatric hospital from the adult hospital.

The same rationale applies to schools of public health, schools of dentistry, etc.