Steven Hacker

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Steven M. Hacker, MD
Steven Hacker Headshot.jpg
Born Lansing, Michigan
Occupation Medical writer
Nationality American
Education MD
Alma mater University of Florida
University of Michigan

Steven M. Hacker is the author of The Medical Entrepreneur: Pearls, Pitfalls and Practical Business Advice for Doctors, creator of the Medical Entrepreneur App and the course director of a symposium based on the book. He is also the founder of and PassportMD.

Early career[edit]

Hacker earned his medical degree from the University of Florida in 1989. He completed two years of Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Michigan in 1991, and completed a three-year dermatology residency at the University of Florida in 1994.[1]

He started a private dermatology practice in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1994.[2] In 2011, he started a second cosmetic dermatology practice, at Spa Anjali in Avon, Colorado.[3]


In 1996, Hacker founded,[3] an online retailer that allows customers to purchase a wide range of specialized skin care and beauty products without needing a consultation from a physician.[4] In 2001, Salu acquired Dermdex,’s parent company.[5] At the tail end of 2009, acquired through its purchase of Salu in a $36 million half-stock, half-cash transaction.[4] Through its 2011 acquisition of, Walgreens acquired, in a $429 million deal. CBS News called the move “wise,” allowing Walgreens to grow without adding more physical stores.[6] Walgreens continues to operate as a standalone business.[7][8]


Hacker launched PassportMD in 2005,[9] and served as CEO until 2009.[10] The personal health record (PHR) service collects and keeps a secure, HIPAA-compliant online database of the medical histories of adult patients, and is accessible by the patient and the patient’s designated physicians.[9][11] The idea for the service came to Hacker after his father had a medical emergency while on a European cruise. Hacker felt that a service that organizes one’s medical records would help expedite the necessary transfer of information during such an emergency.[12] When it began, the data was stored on CD-ROMs and given to patients, but it is now entirely online.[9]

From 2008 to 2009, former Good Morning America co-host Joan Lunden served as a PassportMD spokesperson.[11] In a 2009 pilot program in Arizona and Utah, PassportMD was one of four services chosen by Medicare to be made available as a PHR vendor, in order to determine the effectiveness of PHRs for senior citizens.[13][14]

Passport MD was acquired by MediConnect Global at the end of 2009, and its headquarters were moved from Florida to Utah, where MediConnect is based.[15] In 2012, MediConnect was purchased by Verisk Analytics for $348.6 million.[8][16]


In October 2014, Hacker's company Nano 2.0 launched AppForMyPatients, an e-commerce platform selling products sold at the offices of dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.[8] The software provides patients with a free mobile app and physicians with a software as a service platform to program and launch the app.[17]

The Medical Entrepreneur[edit]


In 2010, Hacker wrote The Medical Entrepreneur: Pearls, Pitfalls and Practical Business Advice for Doctors. Based on Hacker’s own experiences with start-ups and in practice management, the book is intended to teach what medical school doesn’t. The first part of the book advises physicians on how to navigate the business aspects of the profession, with a focus on private practice, while the second is a guide for physicians interested in becoming entrepreneurs.[2][18] The foreword is written by Daniel Mark Siegel, MD MS, president of the American Academy of Dermatology.[19] The text also includes contributions from attorneys offering expert opinion sections.[20]

As of January 2017, the Kindle edition of The Medical Entrepreneur ranks in the top 10 of Amazon Best Sellers in Practice Management & Reimbursement.[21]


In 2012, Hacker started The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium, an annual three-day gathering in Florida, featuring professional speakers expanding on topics covered in Hacker’s book of the same name.[22] The symposium is geared toward physicians, academics and others working in the field of health care.[23]


In 2012, Hacker created and developed the Medical Entrepreneur App for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The free business app was designed to provide private practice management information for medical students and doctors.[24]

Other work[edit]

In 2016, Hacker published his first novel, The Caduceus and the Swastika, in the historical fiction genre, following three medical students struggling against the Third Reich. It was an Editors' Choice by the Historical Novel Society.[25]



  • The Medical Entrepreneur: Pearls, Pitfalls and Practical Business Advice for Doctors (2010, Nano 2.0 Business Press)
  • The Caduceus and the Swastika (2016, Nano 2.0 Business Press)

Medical textbook chapters[edit]

  • Hacker SM and Flowers FP, “Common Bacterial Skin Infections,” Current Practice of Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, Inc., Volume V, Chapter 2, 2.1-2.8, 1996.
  • Hacker SM, “Infections of Skin and Soft Tissue,” Current Diagnosis, W.B. Saunders and Co, 9th Edition.
  • Hacker SM and Flowers FP, “Common Bacterial Infections of the Skin,” Current Practice of Medicine, Jeffrey I Callen, Volume Editor, Volume 1, Chapter 2, pg. 12-20, 1995.

Medical and scientific journals[edit]

Hacker has published over 30 articles in both peer and non-peer reviewed medical and scientific journals.[26]


  1. ^ Steven Hacker, MD doctor page, U.S. News & World Report. Accessed July 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Steven M. Hacker, MD, “In-house or Outsourced Billing: What to Know to Make a Choice or a Change,” Practical Dermatology, May 2011.
  3. ^ a b Julie Dunn, “Spa Anjali now offering cosmetic dermatology services,” Real Vail, July 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b “ agrees to buy,” Seattle Times, December 28, 2009.
  5. ^ “Salu acquires Dermdex,” Datamonitor, March 6, 2001.
  6. ^ Lydia Dishman, “Why Walgreen’s Purchase of Will Cement the Chain’s Leadership,” CBS News, March 25, 2011.
  7. ^ George Anderson, “ a Good Deal for Walgreen,” Forbes, April 1, 2001.
  8. ^ a b c Celia Ampel, "Delray Beach doctor aims to help physicians become entrepreneurs," South Florida Business Journal, October 9, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Tyler Chin, “EMR 2015: An evolving concept,” American Medical News, May 9, 2005.
  10. ^ Sally J. Ling, “Web site keeps campers’ medical data close at hand,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, May 14, 2007.
  11. ^ a b “Getting Organized With Online Medical Records,” ABC News, October 21, 2008.
  12. ^ Laura Daily, “For the Record: Insuring Your Health,” Endless Vacation, January/February 2006.
  13. ^ David Glendinning, “Medicare picks 4 vendors in PHR pilot program,” American Medical News, January 5, 2009.
  14. ^ Cheryl McEvoy, “’Mobilizing’ Health Care: Vendors hit the road to share solutions, spread philosophy,” Accessed July 24, 2012.
  15. ^ “Analysis: MediConnect Acquires PHR Vendor, PassportMD,” Chilmark Research, January 12, 2010.
  16. ^ “Verisk Analytics purchases Sandy-based MediConnect Global Inc. for nearly $350M,” Deseret News, March 25, 2012.
  17. ^ "News & Trends," Modern Aesthetics, October 2014.
  18. ^ Sam Ramos, “Can Doctors Be Savvy Entrepreneurs and Caring Practitioners in the Age of Health Reform,” Focus (of Southwest Florida), January 5, 2011.
  19. ^ Steven M. Hacker, MD, The Medical Entrepreneur: Pearls, Pitfalls and Practical Business Advice for Doctors, Nano 2.0 Business Press, 2010, Forward.
  20. ^ "The Medical Entrepreneur," Kirkus Reviews, March 28, 2016.
  21. ^ Amazon Best Sellers, Medicine / Administration & Policy / Practice Management & Reimbursement, Accessed January 26, 2017.
  22. ^ “Rotations: Alumni News & Notes,” Medicine at Michigan, Spring 2012, Volume 14, Number 1.
  23. ^ "The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium," Accessed August 6, 2012.
  24. ^ “Mobile Application for Medical Professionals,”, August 1, 2012.
  25. ^ Theresa Devine, "The Caduceus and the Swastika," Historical Novel Society, 2016.
  26. ^ For example, Steven M. Hacker, MD, “Private practice is still worthwhile,” Fierce Practice Management, April 12, 2011.

External links[edit]