I just learned about a new social networking site for physicians called Doximity. (Thanks to @JaeSelle for the tip). I'm immediately intrigued because of the slickness of their registration process, which I can't complete because I'm not an MD!
You just type in your first initial and last name and then it pulls options for who you might be directly from the National Provider Information (NPI) database. If you don't show up, they have a way for manual registration too. Once you see your name, you click and then they ask you to confirm your identity by selecting where you went to medical school, what year you graduated and your date of birth. Theoretically, I guess someone could guess. It's such a painless approach.
It's really not a direct challenge to Sermo, in that it's not really an open forum for discussion, but Sermo should really watch themselves with this one. Doximity isn't just a start up. It's a start up from the people who founded ePocractes. Based on the tour videos, with distracting music, this was clearly invented to fill a need that doctors have. It shows an incredible understanding of the life of a healthcare professional. It's not hard to imagine that, like LinkedIn.com, they may not add additional features over time that move into that area.
Right now it seems highly targeted to simplify communication between healthcare professionals in a secured HIPAA compliant way. Of course, what I don't see is how on earth they are going to make money -- but I'm sure that will reveal itself in time too.