The American Medical Association (AMA) announced it is partnering with Sermo, the online community for physicians.
The deal is designed to give the 160-year-old group entrée into a fast-growing online forum, which, in turn, wins access to AMA's 130,000-strong membership. Links and references to Sermo, which boasts around 16,000 members, will feature in online and offline AMA publications. Sermo members will gain access to the full text of articles featured in AMA titles, and the site's staff will work with AMA on enhancing the organization's online publications.
“We're becoming a real voice of physicians, but we're not an advocacy organization,” said
Sermo founder Dr. Daniel Palestrant. “There's one organization that does have that mandate to represent the interests of physicians, and that's the AMA.”
In addition to a ready-made online forum and assistance with site design, the AMA will gain free access to the monitoring services that Sermo charges its Wall Street clients for.
Sermo is also in talks with 10-20 pharmaceutical companies about its offering, which would allow companies to see, in anonymized form, what Sermo members are saying about their products.
Launched in September, the fast-growing site offers its physicians-only membership small cash rewards (typically $20) for particularly thoughtful postings, as ranked by their peers.