Based on the engagement, excitement and interest from registrants and faculty at a recent medical professional innovator conference, participating as a biomedical or clinical entrepreneur is getting traction.
But, if you are interested in changing the system and creating the future of medicine by getting your ideas to patients, where do you start?
1. Decide on your level of involvement. Some want to test the waters and do a side gig. Others are all in from the beginning, forgo doing a residency, and join a startup. But, it's called physician entrepreneurship for a reason.
2. Do a personal SWOT assessment. Another tool is to create a personal business model canvas.
3. Decide which domain is the best fit i.e. drugs, devices, diagnostics, digital health, medical education technologies, fintech, insurance tech, care delivery, policy or other parts of the sick-care value chain begging for improvement. For example, if you are a digital entrepreneur, where should you play and how will you win in an increasingly competitive and segmented industry?
4. Identify the most appropriate role for your level of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies e.g advisor, consultant, chief medical office, becoming a member of the management or founding team or being on the board of directors.
5. Think big, start small and stay small
6. Create or develop your entrepreneurial mindset and the other core competencies of entrepreneurs
7. Come down off the mountain and admit that you don't know what you don't know and start to fill the gap. You will need entrepreneurship education, resources, networks, mentors, peer to peer support and non-clinical career guidance or coaching.
8. Admit that as a health professional focused only on taking care of patients, that, in fact, you are part of the problem. Focusing only on the now, instead of the next and new contributes to complacency and your helping to perpetuate a sick sick-care system of systems.
9. Decide whether you want to be a medical practice entrepreneur, a tech entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur, or play a supporting role like a service provider or investor.
10. Start building your personal brand by writing, speaking, teaching, volunteering, engaging on social media and helping others like you.
11. Figure out how and how much to get compensated
12. Go to SoPE School
13. Find your place in your regional bio-cluster
14. Face your inner demons
Where to play next in your career means navigating a decision tree that can have important consequences depending on which pathway you choose. Educate yourself, experiment, take calculated risks and be bold. Make it personal but don't take it personally.
Be the solution and start today.
Digital Health Entrepreneurship is available on Amazon and Springer.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship.