Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the revered flagship teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, just released an application for the iPhone aimed at squarely at patients. The app enables patients to learn more about the medical center through various tutorials, but it’s main purpose is to allow patients to search for affiliated doctors.

You can search for physicians by name, specialty, and location. The app uses your phone’s native GPS to find the closest affiliated doctors by specialty. When you find a particular physician profile, you are given a contact number and an address of where they practice. Per the description of the app on iTunes, you can send e-mails to physicians, but I was unable to find this feature in the physician profiles I went through.

Needless to say, with the proliferation of “find a doctor near you” type applications, it’s smart for medical institutions to come up with their own apps – especially academic centers who are able to offer a multitude of specialties. For most academic centers, it will probably be easier to use an app to get the contact information of a specialist, verse their often complicated websites.

Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center iPhone app: iTunes Link ; Website Link