#UWSInspires – Grace Park is the founder of DocDoc, the world’s first patient intelligence company that uses artificial intelligence to empower patients with data to make informed decisions in their doctor discovery process.
The idea of DocDoc started when Grace’s infant daughter was diagnosed with a rare liver condition, which made her realise that there was a lack of medical information, particularly when it came to choosing the right doctor for her daughter.
Fun fact: Grace was a Girl Scout in her youth and currently volunteers as a co-leader of a troop because she loves to help shape values and skills in young girls to make a positive and lasting impact in our communities.
From working in a Fortune 500 firm to taking the leap of faith to start a company in Singapore, Grace generously shares her motivation for success:
Q1. What inspired you to start your business? What gave you that leap of faith?
The purpose behind DocDoc stems from a deeply personal story. My husband, Cole Sirucek, and I welcomed our healthy new-born daughter, Rand Sirucek, into this world but at her 90-day checkup, she was diagnosed with a rare liver condition. Despite several attempts, unfortunately, we were not able to collect the information we needed to understand if the team who had made the initial diagnosis was the right team to perform the procedure on our daughter. Our basic questions like, “How many liver transplants have you done?” to “How much will this cost?” were not well received. From our personal network, we found a team in Japan that was the pioneer of pediatric live liver transplants.
In a highly complex 15-hour long operation, my husband donated a piece of his liver to our daughter. Thanks to the highly qualified team, the operation was successful, making Rand one of the youngest to undergo such a procedure in the world. Our medical care team made all the difference. This team had done tens of thousands more transplants than the initial team who wanted to do our surgery and had far superior outcomes. Shockingly, despite higher expertise, they were also 60% less expensive than the team who had initially diagnosed our daughter.
While Cole was recovering in the ICU, the purpose of DocDoc became clear to us – to empower patients with data to make informed decisions in their doctor discovery process.
Q2. What motivates you to achieve success? How do you motivate yourself consistently?
There is a famous saying by Friedrich Nietzsche: “He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any how.” I strongly believe that when you pursue a mission bigger than yourself and are focused on creating a positive and lasting impact on the world, you can push through any hurdles and keep moving forward. Giving up is never an option.
Practice cultivating a mindset where you ask yourself on a daily basis: How can I strive to be the best version of myself today? This not only impacts my own life but also my family. As a mompreneur, I’m often motivated to role model what success looks like to my young daughter.
Q3. What advice would you give to a young woman keen to start a business on her own?
First, guard your mind. The journey of an entrepreneur is a marathon and not a sprint and not every day will be sunshine and rainbows. Celebrate the small victories. Don’t take rejections to heart and stay focused on your purpose. If you believe in your purpose, it will sustain you through the hardships.
Run your own race. Every entrepreneur has to carve out their own path and it will be filled with twists and turns. Enjoy the journey and appreciate and grow from the learning opportunity.
A startup’s success is highly dependent on the entrepreneur’s decision-making abilities. In order to manage stress levels and have a clear mind for optimal decision making, it is essential to take good care of your physical health. Sleep enough hours when you can, eat healthy foods, and hit it hard in the gym.
Have your community support system sorted out on the home front and work front. There are no lone rangers out there. If you hire people of character who are aligned with your values and vision, then your colleagues are able to make significant contributions alongside you. A caring support team is behind every successful entrepreneur!
Q4. Is there a female figure in your life that you look up to & why?
I have always looked up to my great grandmother, the matriarch of my family. Having survived the Korean War and leading her family to safety and freedom in the United States, she had the will to never give up.
Another example would be Colonel (retired) Sylvia Moran, who graduated in the first class of women at the United States Military Academy at West Point and came back to West Point as a Professor of Foreign Languages and as an Officer-In-Charge of the West Point Judo Team. Sylvia is a pioneer who encouraged me to keep going in male dominated environments regardless of my race and gender.