Entrepreneurial Syndromes

Entrepreneurial Syndromes

A syndrome describes a number of signs or symptoms that occur together, like Down's syndrome. The word derives from the Greek syndromos which is a place where several roads meet. Diagnosing a syndrome relies on pattern recognition, recall and interpretation and is a staple of medical education and consistently shows up as "gotcha" questions on specialty board exams.

If you spend time in the startup or entrepreneurial world, you are likely to encounter practitioners who exhibit syndromes with common symptoms:

  1. Founder's syndrome
  2. Craniorectal inversion syndrome
  3. Wounded wallet syndrome
  4. Narcissism syndrome
  5. Linkedout syndrome
  6. Imposter syndrome
  7. The non-innocent bystander syndrome
  8. Disruptive doctor syndrome
  9. Physician investor syndrome
  10. Lousy business person syndrome
  11. Avoidant attachment syndrome
  12. Grumpy doctor syndrome


Like most syndromes, these are difficult to diagnose, hard to treat and often require a multidisciplinary approach. But, at least you'll get the question right on your entrepreneurial board exam.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and on Twitter@ArlenMD.

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  • Julie Christine

    We need more physicians entrepreneurs like you !!

  • Angel Bamforth

    Looking sharp Dr. Meyers

  • Sarah Jayne

    Good read

  • Carl Mattinson

    Please make more videos !!!!

  • Mona Gruttemeyer

    Short and concise, thanks

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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