Inspirational Woman: Stephanie Eltz | Co-founder, Doctify

Stephanie EltzI’m the co-founder and CEO of Doctify, a review collection platform that is delivering trust and transparency across health and social care by ensuring that no patient is left unheard.

I started my career as a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon. During this time, I became passionate about the idea of using technology to solve wider problems in healthcare. I could see that it had the potential to bring patients and doctors closer together. This inspired me to co-found Doctify with my friend and fellow surgeon, Suman Saha.

We decided to launch Doctify as despite being well connected in the medical world, we both found it tough to source the right specialist when we needed medical advice and treatment. Our experiences made us realise how challenging it was for people researching healthcare to make informed decisions about their care. We wanted to create a platform that enabled people to take control of their health by accessing meaningful, trustworthy and verified reviews online. At the same time, we wanted to create a platform that would allow doctors, dentists, clinics and hospitals to hear more from their patients and gather meaningful feedback that would allow them to drive the right improvements to their care.

I’m deeply passionate about our mission and it’s exciting to see Doctify’s growth across the world. By 2025, we want our review technology to have helped 100 million patients take control of their health and access the best specialists for their needs.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I’ve always been passionate about helping people. When I was eight years old, I decided to become a doctor. The choices I made following on from that moment were ones that would allow me to develop my surgical career.

After I had worked as a surgeon for a number of years, I discovered a mole that I thought was cancerous and I wanted to speak to a specialist in that area. Despite being a doctor myself and having a great network of fellow medics, I found it challenging to find the right professional.

This was a light-bulb moment for me. I realised how many people must be struggling to source doctors or treatments confidently. Our health is the most precious thing we have and seeing that it was easier to find online reviews for a hotel or a restaurant than healthcare was shocking.

So I decided to follow my heart and I co-founded Doctify. This has allowed me to support more patients in their healthcare journeys than I would have ever been able to do as a surgeon. To this day, Doctify has helped over 50 million patients confidently find the right care, and this is just the beginning. Interestingly, my parents always told me I should be an entrepreneur.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

There are many challenges that first-time entrepreneurs face. As I came from a medical background, I didn’t know much about running a business. I knew I needed to build the right support network around me. I got involved in various mentorship programmes that supported beginner entrepreneurs looking to transform their PowerPoint presentations into reality. The programmes also gave me advice and coaching around acceleration and growth. I found these experiences truly valuable and insightful. They also enabled me to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs who continue to support Suman and me to this day.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

At Doctify, we have achieved many exciting milestones. Along the way, I’ve learnt to celebrate all of them, no matter how big or small. Entrepreneurs are often focused on chasing bigger goals instead of appreciating every little win that gets them closer to achieving their success.

I’m proud that Doctify now collaborates with nearly 25,000 providers across five countries on three different continents. This has allowed us to help over 50 million people find the best specialists for their needs. Having a creative and passionate team is also something I consider to be an achievement. I’m grateful for everything we have accomplished together and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Launching a business with someone you can trust and who compensates for your weakness is essential. I feel very fortunate to have co-founded Doctify with Suman, who’s equally as passionate about ensuring that no patient is left unheard as me. We both experienced the two sides of the doctor-patient relationship which has enabled us to create a product for both patients and providers. I believe that having complementary skill sets and personality traits allowed us to create a strong partnership and grow a successful healthtech company together.

  1. What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?
  2. Do it for the right reasons and be passionate about the problem you are solving.
  3. Learn to celebrate the small wins. Take a break to breathe, reflect and enjoy the journey.
  4. Don’t forget to look after your mental and physical health. It will help you be more productive.

Stephanie Eltz Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Tech has traditionally been male-dominated, but more and more women are entering the industry. There is still room for improvement and we need greater female representation across the sector to create a more inclusive culture and to show women that they can build long-term careers in tech.

One of the biggest barriers for women in the tech industry who aspire to climb the career ladder is the unclear path forward. At Doctify, we ensure all our employees have a clear overview of their career goals. This helps us to develop a strategy to support them along the way and provide necessary training and tools enabling them to enhance their skills.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress of the careers of women working in technology?

The key is to offer women the opportunity to progress and succeed in senior roles. At Doctify, we are proud to have strong female leaders who are great role models to our team. One of our core values is self-improvement and growth, so we provide our entire team with the necessary training, mentorship, feedback and support. I think it’s essential to invest in your team’s development and offer women the guidance they need to thrive in the tech industry.

We’re also continuously working on improving our benefits to support the careers of women. As a mother of two, I understand how important it is to have a supportive, flexible and family-friendly workplace. At Doctify, we know each other’s children and they pop up in virtual meetings from time to time. I don’t think a day goes by without a child participating in one of our meetings.

There are currently only 21 percent of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Companies need to be better with flexibility. A study from the Pew Research Center found that 70% of women with families want a flexible working schedule in order to have a better work-life balance. Having flexibility would encourage more women into tech, helping to diversify the industry and establish more female leaders within the sector.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I highly recommend reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. It highlights the importance of company culture and how a strong culture can affect professional and personal happiness. It’s a great book to learn about the best strategies for top customer experience and the connection that exists between company culture and customer experience.

I think it’s also crucial to network and join relevant groups in your niche for additional support and education. I’m part of an extensive network of SaaS CEOs and women in tech groups, which allow me to share my experiences with peers and engage with like-minded people. It’s a fantastic way to gain advice and ideas to grow your business and progress your career.

Learning should never end, so I encourage everyone to take advantage of all available tools and resources to improve their skills and knowledge.