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Observations BMJ Confidential

Neil Bacon: Hates wasting a single moment

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 23 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4715


Neil Bacon, 47, is a kidney specialist turned entrepreneur with two big successes under his belt. In 1998 he showed audacity and courage by quitting his job and selling his house to launch, despite having no business experience; it grew to become the world’s largest online professional medical network. In 2008 he sold the company and launched, a website that allows patients to rate and review the care they receive from doctors and hospitals. It provides information to patients while helping healthcare organisations use their reviews to improve quality, safety, and value. It now has reviews from a million patients.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be better.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

People with unshakeable values and the courage to think differently, who always act in the best interests of others, especially when going against the tide of popular opinion. Historically, then, Churchill. In my careers, Chris Winearls (of the Oxford Renal Unit), Muir Gray, Dave Sackett, and Steve Kaufer (the founder of TripAdvisor). And recently, Helen Donnelly—the awesome nurse who stood up to be counted when more senior clinicians looked the other way at Mid Staffordshire—and Ruth Owen, a force of …

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