Healthcare Personal Advisory Board Tips

Healthcare Personal Advisory Board Tips

If you are at a cross roads, starting a new business or beginning your career, creating and convening a personal advisory board (PAB) is a good idea.

This group can help you start or grow a business, start a career,change careers, or move up within your company. Think of your board as a team of mentors, carefully chosen, who can provide you with mentoring and feedback across a wide variety of your professional concerns. Each advisor should be selected to fulfil specific goals in your professional (and possibly personal) life.

But, like working with, or, being a member of any advisory board or board of directors, there are some pitfalls:

  1. Start small. Find two or three people you know, like and trust and test the process.

  2. Be proactive in managing the PAB.

  3. PAB board members should serve on a temporary basis with renewable terms if things go well.

  4. Be specific at PAB meetings and create an agenda around specific problems you want to address.

  5. Be sure the pros of serving on your PAB out-weight the cons.

  6. You don't necessarily have to pay PAB members, you just have to make them feel appreciated and that you value their time and expertise. Diversity is not the same as inclusion.

  7. Schedule regularly held meetings and give a progress report.

  8. Add additional members on an ad hoc basis if your PAB members do not have the experience or domain expertise to help solve your problems.

  9. Be sure your PAB members represent demographic, psychographic and functional diversity.

  10. Listen more than you talk and follow up on leads.

  11. Understand the difference between a coach, a mentor and a sponsor.

  12. Rotate members on a regular basis.

If you are considering being a PAB member, here is some advice on giving advice.

Having a poorly functioning PAB is worse than not having one at all so, if you want my advice, be careful what you ask for.

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

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  • Mark Andrews

    Thanks for the tips !

  • Richard Mellor

    Always be compassionate towards others.

  • Leanne Stone

    Money is everything even in healthcare... you must know where to shop....

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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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