GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.
Not every doctor is cut out to be a physician entrepreneur. Are you?
It seems to me there is confusion about physician entrepreneurship, its definition and whether it represents a threat to professionalism. I’m not alone. Is a physician entrepreneur someone who starts and runs a business, or is it something more?
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under variable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions. The goal of all entrepreneurs, including physician entrepreneurs, is to create user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model to accomplish, in the case of medical professionals, the quintuple aim or, if applicable, shareholder value.
Because of the many changes in the art and practice of medicine, many doctors have decided to get involved in non-clinical side gigs or, in some instances, leave medicine entirely. Here is a guide to non-clinical careers.
- It helps patients
- It’s fun and challenging
- It gives them the ability to exercise creativity
- It creates alignment and engagement with organization
- The profit motive
- It creates meaning
- It satisfies psychic needs
- It provides another sources of external vaidation
- It’s a way to get outside of your comfort zone
- It allows you to take more risk
- The sick care business model is broken and they want to be part of the big fix after feeling ignored and disempowered
- They have to to surthrive
Whether you are a pre-med, a medical student, a resident, a fellow or a practicing clinician thinking about beginning the entrepreneurial journey, you should take some time to identify your persona.
You career strategy starts with answering:
- Where are you now?
- Where do you want to go?
- How do you want to get there?
Begin by matching yourself with one of the four core entrepreneurial personas as defined by their willingness and ability to practice entrepreneurship successfully.
The Convinced and Confident know entrepreneurship should be part of their career pathway. In fact, many of them have had entrepreneurial life experiences prior to medical school.
The Curious but Clueless don’t know what they don’t know but are willing to learn more. Many have never held a job in their life. Some might be willing, but unable to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. . Others discover their innerpreneur, and move on.
The I Couldn’t Care Less are unwilling and unable to give it a try. Their attitude is , “I went to medical school to take care of patients, not take care of business”. What they don’t realize is that if you don’t take care of business, you have no business taking care of patients.
The Conflicted have yet to discover their “innerpreneur”, but are conflicted about whether to step outside of their comfort zones and cut the chord.
Your persona will help lead you to the next steps:
- The Convinced and Confident: Continue to improve your knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies and learn from your experience.
- The Curious but Clueless: Start with education, building your networks and finding mentors
- The I Couldn’t Care Less: Pass on entrepreneurship until or unless you change your mind. Here are the many reasons why you should not be a physician entrepreneur.
- The Conflicted: Start with the 6Rs of physician career transitioning, beginning with reflection.
Where you are in the thought process will depend on who you are.
Moving from unawareness to awareness to intention to decision to action might show you someone in the mirror you would have never recognized in the past. Or, you might be looking at the same old person.
Image credit: Pixabay
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