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Epocrates Reviews

16 reviews

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Jonathan S. Bush
2 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • lots of work life flexibility and great work-life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • Providing a product that truly makes a difference and has transformed the practice of medicine (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • Unstable company organization and career growth after acquisition by athenahealth (in 3 reviews)

  • Moving out of silicon valley is a huge mistake, unless the goal is to induce significant voluntary turnover (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Unclear vision and repeated firing of leads and teams made me leave"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Epocrates (More than a year)

    Pros

    My review is for epocrates / athenahealth sf.

    Nice Offices: The new SF office is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately it feels empty and I wonder who will occupy it next.

    Thorough on boarding: The onboarding of new employees was second to none. I was so excited and full of energy starting into my job.

    Good educational opportunities: athena truly values teaching and learning as a culture. There's countless educational opportunities. Take advantage of them.

    The other offices: Based on my experience I cannot recommend the local office but if you're passionate about healthcare IT then I would recommend looking at the other offices.

    Cons

    My review is for epocrates / athenahealth sf.

    Unclear vision: Wasted energy on ever changing visions without addressing the very real issues of existing core businesses.

    Hire and fire culture: In my short time I could count the number of senior leaders getting axed on two hands.

    Mediocre benefits: The benefits were not bad but not good either. There were no stock options and the health insurance options were disappointing.

    Advice to Management

    It's not enough to be passionate. You also need to clearly articulate your vision, stick to it, and trust your teams to execute against them. Hiring and firing entire teams does not engender trust nor will it lead to positive outcomes. Allowing different leads to pull in different directions wastes everyone's time and your money.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "No place to go"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pays well, benefits are great. Company culture used to be great. Co-operation among departments that don't traditionally communicate in other companies.

    Cons

    No room for advancement. Blatant favoritism to certain employees. C level managers came and went very rapidly in the last 3 years. No checks and balances-bad HR leader, bad senior level management and nowhere to let any one know of the bad leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Someone should be checking the performance of VPs and asking their direct reports to evaluate them on a regular basis. HR should be a place employees can feel comfortable taking their work issues to rather than being punished for reporting negligence and incompetence.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Succeeds in spite of itself"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Innovative (core) product
    - Brand recognition within the industry
    - Work/life balance
    - Vacation policy -- Policy was changed early 2011 essentially eliminating "formal" vacation hours (ie = take it as you want)
    - Decent health benefits / gym reimbursement

    Cons

    As my headline indicates, Epocrates has succeeded in spite of itself the past 2 years. The strength of the brand and the core product itself seem to be the only things keeping the company afloat at this point (mid-2012). In my 8+ years of professional experience, I've never seen a company so accepting of failure and inefficiency, if not outright coddling it. There really seemed to be zero repercussions for poor performance.

    Echoing some of the other comments, much of middle to senior management are severely out of touch with both the big picture and the day-to-day goings on within their departments. A number of recent hires were hired due to previous relationships/friendships with managers/VP's in their groups, regardless of their lacking relevant work experience. Definitely too much "buddy system" going on. A recent hire in my former department lacked the requisite skill set for their job... however they were a family friend of an executive, so they were hired without hesitation.

    While there has been a decent amount of management (including executive) turnover in the past year, the proverbial ship doesn't seem to be anywhere close to being righted. An entire business unit was eliminated recently and there has been a steady exodus of tenured employees recently. My guess is many were pre-IPO employees hoping to hit it big when the company went public, only to have to have to stock flop since going public rendering most stock options worthless.

    There is also a seven lack of infrastructure within the company. Almost no synergy exists between departments, especially the flow of information between engineering/sales. I've seen new products/features being sold that weren't actually going to be available in the channel for months out.

    Where benefits are concerned, while the health benefits are good, the lack of company 401k match stinks. As a whole, the pay seems to be a touch lower for comparable positions elsewhere. A big draw for me was the opportunity to work at a start-up preparing to go public. As mentioned above, due to the poor performance of the company, I'd guess anyone who started at Epocrates within the past 3-4 years is underwater on their stock options.

    Personal growth also seems to be non-existent from my experience. Speaking from personal experience, I was promised a career path yet never received this in my 2 years with the company. In lieu of allowing people to pursue areas of interest within the company, the only areas for advancement I saw fell more into the realm of "no one else wants to do this".

    Advice to Management

    The executive team should take a serious look at the departments who routinely underperform and make swift changes accordingly. With Epocrates now being a public company who's accountable for revenue, the old way of doing things simply does not work... as evidenced by missing numbers every quarter they've been public. As noted above, synergy between groups needs to be greatly improved. Also need to figure a way to grow the business or expand the product line. The EHR initiative was a complete debacle and cost the company millions of dollars. This money could have been put to much better use expanding/upgrading the existing core products.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Has moved down hill"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Vacation policy, industry leader, growth potential, many senior positions opening, ability to get in on the ground floor of building a new company culture.

    Cons

    All new senior management, currently recovering from the effects of a mismatched CEO, per recent press releases the company is searching for a new direction which will likely lead to churn.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "great product, bad leaders"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    great technology that saves lives, great benefits, talented employees, work life balance

    Cons

    a tech start up with fotune 10 politics... new direction slowly converting company from a tech company to a marketing firm. management team lack vision and long term commitment.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "It's like Microsoft only smaller"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Developer in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Epocrates compensation is decent and there are some very smart people here. The product is one that helps a lot of people through tools that make sure physicians make less errors.

    Cons

    Epocrates breaks a lot or rules-of-thumb for being a great company for employees. It starts with what seems like having as many managers as individual contributers. Also, the no-asshole rule doesn't apply here because there are plenty of them roaming through the halls. People with chips on their shoulders that act like they are better than everyone else. Most of management does not seem to see that the place has absolutely no culture and that most employees are just coming in for the decent paycheck. Management frequently congratulates themselves on jobs well done, especially marketing even though no one really knows what they do since the product seems to sell itself. It's very sad especially coming from someone who once saw it differently. Another poster said these are growing pains. Maybe, but the place has simply become a toxic environment. The HR department seems to care more about management not getting sued than the employees' happiness. I've heard that this is really how it is supposed to work, but always thought that HR was for the employees. You can feel it as you walk down the halls.

    Advice to Management

    See above, plus: get a new marketing department.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "VP"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Epocrates full-time

    Pros

    Great people and product offerings. Provided incredible services to medical providers and patients via the drug reference guide. Competitive salaries.

    Cons

    Shell of former self. Silicon Valley culture changed significantly with each successive change in leadership. Became a company that lost it's heart.

    Advice to Management

    Define mission statement in alignment with some incorporation of historical value. Keep it independent as much as possible

  8. "Good story gone wrong"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great product and extremely passionte people. Very happy customers.

    Cons

    A revolving door of management, poor board oversight, and bad strategy unfortunately took all the wind out of what should have been a winning company.

    Advice to Management

    Be less concerned about your exit (board) and more concerned with building a winning team. Have more respect for the existing culture and change it more responsibly in the areas where it needed to be changed.


  9. "Tough place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Epocrates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Silicaon Valley start-up so good work spaces and benefits. Unlimited vacation time (if you get a chance to use it).

    Cons

    High employee and c-suite turnover. Systems weren't good and made it difficult to meet increasingly tight deadlines. Prro communication between east coast and west coast offices.


  10. "Not focussed enough on product innovation, but decently stable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Epocrates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to impact health care
    good benefits
    improved company since Athena acquisition

    Cons

    Had tons of technical debt, product management had too much power and no vision


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