How to Become a Doctorpreneur & Speaker

How to Become a Doctorpreneur & Speaker

How to Become a Doctorpreneur & Speaker

Conventional wisdom has it that “doctors are lousy businesspeople,” and they should just take care of patients and leave the business stuff to someone else.

In my opinion, these beliefs are no longer sustainable if doctors are to thrive in the new US healthcare environment.

As someone who works with physician entrepreneurs, I know that doctors have the potential to make great entrepreneurs.

Admittedly, only a small percentage of the roughly 900,000 actively practicing physicians in the US have an entrepreneurial mindset and even fewer are innovators. However, it only takes a few innovators to disrupt the system and add substantial value.

A Physician Entrepreneurs Journey HippoHealth

There are many barriers to physician entrepreneurship. One is the difficult task of changing from a clinical mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset. There are similarities and differences. Sometimes, the similarities are obscured by lingo and jargon. Here's how to translate entrepreneurspeak into terms that are more understandable to doctors and other health professionals :

  1. A/B testing=monitoring the clinical response to treatment and comparing one to another
  2. Business model=third party reimbursement
  3. Value proposition=prescribing aspirin instead of narcotics for the level of pain
  4. Design thinking=taking a patient history
  5. Disruption=anesthesia, MRI scans, endoscopic and minimally invasive techniques
  6. Minimal viable category=cancer and personalized cancer immunotherapy
  7. Crossing the chasm and traversing the traction gap=dissemination and implementation of new therapies
  8. Pivoting=changing your treatment recommendations when what you prescribed didn't work
  9. New product failure analysis=morbidity and mortality conference
  10. Case study=grand rounds

The entrepreneur's guide to fly-fishing is another helpful primer.

Innovation and entrepreneurspeak is pervasive. While many doctors don't know what they don't know about the business of medicine and technology commercialization, don't make the other epistomological mistake of being fooled into thinking your don't know what you do know.

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

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  • Andrew Thomas

    There are hidden risks that we often fail to account for.

  • Jordan Cuthbert

    Good post

  • Jordan Cuthbert

    You are so cerebral. I genuinely love and admire that.

  • Arlen Meyers

    In reply to: Jordan Cuthbert

    Thank you.

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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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