Healthcare Entrepreneurship: How to Pick Your Entrepreneurial Spot

Healthcare Entrepreneurship: How to Pick Your Entrepreneurial Spot

Healthcare Entrepreneurship: How to Pick Your Entrepreneurial Spot

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. 

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  • Ross Smith

    The transition from a healthcare worker to an entrepreneur is a life journey.

  • Kingsley Hill

    It all starts by asking the right questions and curating a solid business plan. Each sick care entrepreneur is gifted. Thanks for the tips.

  • Cameron Patel

    Nailed it !!!

  • Otis Gibson

    Thanks for the motivation !

  • Sabrina Jenkins

    I would start with personal brand, take some digital classes and hit the ground running.

  • Logan Y

    Legit facts !!

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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 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 and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, 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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