Peter Frishauf, born in 1949, is best known as the founder of Medscape, and SCP Communications, Inc. Frishauf is listed in Richard Saul Wurman’s March, 2002 book, Who’s Really Who as one of the 1,000 most creative people in the U.S.
|Born||1949 (age 65–66)|
|Residence||New York City|
|Education||New York University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.|
|Known for||Founder of Medscape, and SCP Communications, Inc.|
Early career and education
Frishauf started his career as a medical writer in 1972 after graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He founded three New York City-based medical information companies, F&F Publications in 1975, SCP Communications in 1982, and Medscape in 1995. He served as Medscape’s CEO until February, 1998 when he became Chairman of its Executive Committee and was a member of its Board of Directors through its IPO and until its merger with MedicaLogic/Medscape, Inc in May, 2000. MedicaLogic sold Medscape to WebMD in the final days of December, 2001, and Peter left the enterprise in 2002. SCP was acquired by CMP Healthcare Media in 2004. Frishauf is now an independent consultant.
The son of an electrical engineer and a physician, Frishauf's first career choice was medicine. But as an undergraduate in the tumultuous 1960s, Peter joined the staff of the New York University student newspaper, Washington Square Journal and switched his major to journalism. As editor, he oversaw the conversion of the weekly student newspaper to a daily; as a student correspondent for United Press International in 1968 and The New York Times in 1969 and 1970, his coverage of student protests landed him several page-one stories. He also credits that time with teaching him lessons in management fundamental to his later career, as the staff of the student newspaper at its height tripled to as many as 60 people.
In 1972, Frishauf started his career as a medical writer for a number of national magazines, after graduating from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as the Nate Haseltine Fellow in Science Writing. In 1975, at age 26, Peter and a partner started F&F Publications, Inc., borrowed money, and bought Hospital Physician magazine from the Medical Economics Company. The following year his company launched Physician Assistant magazine. Both titles remain in print today. The company was sold in 1977, and Frishauf went to work as an editorial director for the new owners, PW Communications, Inc.
In 1981, Frishauf raised venture capital through Alan Patricof Associates (now APAX Partners), and started SCP Communications, Inc. (www.scp.com). From day 1, in the pre-personal computer era, SCP was a paper-free electronic community: sales, editorial, production and finance groups had networked access via a hand-built alpha micro computer to core information and work processes, many developed by Peter. In late 2003 the CME and publishing assets of SCP (including Consultant, a clinical primary care journal) and Oncology, an independent cancer periodical) were sold to CMP media.
In 1995, under Frishauf's direction, SCP launched Medscape from its offices in Manhattan's Silicon Alley, selling the assets to a new company, Medscape, Inc., in April, 1996. Peter served as Medscape CEO until February 1998 and as Chairman of its Executive Committee and a member of its Board of Directors through its IPO and until May 2000, when the company merged with Medicalogic/Medscape, Inc., where he was Senior Adviser. Many people lost their jobs and many also believe the company was mismanaged. Medicalogic sold Medscape to WebMD in December 2001; and in 2002 Frishauf's formal relationship with the company ended, although he continues to contribute to the site as a writer and editorialist.
At Medscape, Frishauf developed the business model and product, raised money for the company, and established content relationships with more than 300 leading medical journals. Today Medscape is one of the most visited professional medical sites in the world with more than 16 million visits per quarter.
Frishauf is a director and past president of the Healthcare Marketing & Communications Council, Inc. a nonprofit organizations whose members from the pharmaceutical, publishing, medical education and advertising industries work to improve educational and promotional programs. Frishauf holds an MS in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (1972); and a BA from New York University's Washington Square College (1970). Peter is the non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Crossix Solutions, Inc.; a director of MedPage Today, a site that covers breaking medical news peer-reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania, and a director of the The Omnimedix Institute, a healthcare information technology consultancy. In January 2009 Frishauf joined the Board of Directors of Oakstone Publishing . Oakstone Medical Publishing  publishes summaries and critiques of journal articles in under the Practical Reviews title, as well as video and audio programs that help doctors prepare for board certification and recertification exams and master the latest clinical procedures. Oakstone's Personal Best  division provides employers concise, cost-effective health and wellness information that promotes healthy lifestyles to employees. Frishauf is an advisor to Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health initiative. Frishauf also serves as president of the Alumni & Friends of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and is a member of the medical journalism advisory board for the medical journalism masters program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Lundberg, G: “The First 10 Years of Medscape, 1995-2005: From Delusion through Vision to a Culture” MedGenMed May 20, 2005. (Free Registration Required)
- Frishauf, P: “Medscape—The First 5 Years” MedGenMed May 20, 2005 (Free Registration Required)
- Frishauf, P: "Are Traditional Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles Obsolete? A Pitch for the Wikipedia Concept" Medscape Video Commentary in MedGenMed January 6, 2006 (Free Registration Required)
- Frishauf, P: "Are We Really Better Off With HIPAA?" Medscape Video Commentary in MedGenMed November 21, 2005 (Free Registration Required)
- Interview with Peter Frishauf on Collaboration
- Website of Alumni & Friends of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
- Website of the Healthcare Marketing Communication Council
- Crossix Solutions website
- Omnimedix Institute website
- Medical journalism masters program of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health Initiative
- The End of Peer Review and Traditional Publishing As We Know It
- Reputation Systems: A New Vision for Publishing and Peer Review, in Journal of Participatory Medicine, published Oct 22, 2009