Post COVID-19 Physician Entrepreneurship

Post COVID-19 Physician Entrepreneurship

Post COVID-19 Physician Entrepreneurship

COVID-19 has changed the world, and, with it, the future of physician entrepreneurship.

Previous assumptions are no longer valid. Each and every element of business models and the innovation pathway has shifted.

Nevertheless, there is some good news:

  • Entrepreneurs are fighters, optimistic and resilient. They will overcome this difficult period because this is in their DNA to bounce back.
  • Every crisis is not limitless, and the end entrepreneurs can always undertake something.

A basic reminder: a company needs 3 assets to be profitable and sustainable:

  1. Money (access to capital)
  2. A know-how or a specific expertise
  3. A team (people)

Creating and building those pieces in a post-COVID world will be characterized by:

  1. Entrepreneurship education and training reform that will no longer reside in the halls of academia, but, rather, in informal communities that are cheaper, more nimble and responsive to the networking and ecosystem demands of new entrants.

  2. As people increasingly work remotely, new wage and benefit systems will create a new social compact that protects workers during future shocks to the economy, instead of hailing them as heroes one day and a drag on profitability the next.

  3. The simultaneous pressure for a fix for systemic racism, the pressures of the pandemic, inequality, social justice and the future of work will flatten the income gaps and disparities.

  4. Public health entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship will take its rightful place in the ways physicians can create stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation.

  5. Addressing social determinants will become part and parcel of health systems reform.

  6. Undergraduates, medical students, residents, and fellows will accelerate Plan B as they abbreviate their clinical careers and push against a medical education establishment that views any doctor who does not see patients full time as selfish and selling out.

  7. Traditional structures for financing new ventures will become more decentralized and liberalized.

  8. The demand for regulatory reform, reimbursement and universal coverage (albeit not necessarily guaranteeing universal access) will gain speed.

  9. Barriers to sick care open innovation will fall out of necessity.

  10. Medical education will be reformed as part of Flexner 2.0

Prior to COVID, physician entrepreneurship was experiencing its golden age. The metal might be a bit tarnished, but its value is still high and rising.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

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  • Anthony Rutter

    Excellent article

  • Gavin Allen

    Thoughtful piece !

  • Carol Holme

    If anything, I think it's the youngsters who will come to most appreciate factors outside of our control more than any other demographic. They are living it.

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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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