Category Archives: Healthcare

Land Mines of Intrapreneurship

Land Mines of Intrapreneurship

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) conditions with the goal of creating user/stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model.

Intrapreneurs are employees trying to act like entrepreneurs within their organizations or non-profits. Here is the textbook of physician intrapreneurship.

Here is how to get your ideas noticed:

If you are trying to develop and deploy an AI solution in your sickcare organization, have you answered these questions?

Here are some reasons why your initiative will fail.

Do you have a VAST edupreneur business model?

Studies show that around 60 to 80% of new products fail. The same is probably true for programs and new educational offerings. It is difficult to determine the exact number of unreported cases, because who would like to talk about his innovation flops? The odds are against you.

So, what are the landmines to detect and avoid?

  1. You did not do your homework because you where unwilling, unable to do so ,or ,you do not have an entrepreneurial mindset and think because you already have 2 people who said they were interested that you could forge ahead.
  2. You did not have an exit strategy.
  3. You did not read the field manual.
  4. You don’t have the right sponsor with staying power.
  5. You tried to bite off more than your stakeholders are willing or able to chew.
  6. You are a bad rebel and chalk it up to “being authentic.”
  7. You do not have the right clinical champions on board.
  8. You have empty seats on the bus or the wrong people sitting in them.
  9. You are making these rookie intrapreneur mindset mistakes.
  10. You are not addressing the dysfunction of teams.
  11. You are not aligned with your organization’s strategy or vision.
  12. You are working in the wrong place with a toxic or fixed culture or for the wrong person.
  13. You don’t have an innovation strategy
  14. You don’t get sales and marketing
  15. You didn’t ask and answer these four questions before you started
  16.  If you’ve got a major change on the horizon, here’s how to avoid three of the most common saboteurs of company transformation. First, understand that significant change will be harder than you think it will be to achieve. Next, be realistic about your organization’s capacity to implement changes. Finally, make sure your organization understands how and why the transformation is important to you.
  17. You have not learned how to win at Survivor  1) Don’t expect friendship. Invest in relationships outside your company to meet your emotional needs; 2) Manage sideways. Your reputation with your peers becomes an important factor as you’re being considered for senior ranks; and 3) Hone your political skills.

If you get too far ahead of your troops, it is hard to tell the difference between you and the enemy. De-risk yourself. Be careful out there.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Should you be a physician entrepreneur?

Should you be a physician entrepreneur?

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.

Here are three things to know about physician entrepreneurship.

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.

Doctors are practicing the art of entrepreneurship for many reasons:

  1. It helps patients
  2. It’s fun and challenging
  3. It gives them the ability to exercise creativity
  4. It creates alignment and engagement with organization
  5. The profit motive
  6. It creates meaning
  7. It satisfies psychic needs
  8. It provides another sources of external vaidation
  9. It’s a way to get outside of your comfort zone
  10. It allows you to take more risk
  11. The sick care business model is broken and they want to be part of the big fix after feeling ignored and disempowered
  12. 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:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. 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:

  1. The Convinced and Confident: Continue to improve your knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies and learn from your experience.
  2. The Curious but Clueless: Start with education, building your networks and finding mentors
  3. 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.
  4. 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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Challenges of Artificial Intelligence Adoption, Dissemination and Implementation

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence Adoption, Dissemination and Implementation

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Dissemination and Implementation Science (DIS) is a growing research field that seeks to inform how evidence-based interventions can be successfully adopted, implemented, and maintained in health care delivery and community settings.

Here is what you should know about dissemination and implementation.

Sickcare artificial intelligence products and services have a unique set of barriers to dissemination and implementation.

Every sickcare AI entrepreneur will eventually be faced with the task of finding customers willing and able to buy and integrate the product into their facility. But, every potential customer or segment is not the same.

There are differences in:

  1. The governance structure
  2. The process for vetting and choosing a particular vendor or solution
  3. The makeup of the buying group and decision makers
  4. The process customers use to disseminate and implement the solution
  5. Whether or not they are willing to work with vendors on pilots
  6. The terms and conditions of contracts
  7. The business model of the organization when it comes to working with early-stage companies
  8. How stakeholders are educated and trained
  9. When and how which end users and stakeholders have input in the decision
  10. The length of the sales cycle
  11. The complexity of the decision-making process
  12. Whether the product is a point solution or platform
  13. Whether the product can be used throughout all parts of just a few of the sickcare delivery network
  14. A transactional approach v a partnership and future development one
  15. The service after the sale arrangement

Here is what Sales Navigator won’t tell you.

Here is why ColdLinking does not work.

When it comes to AI product marketing and sales, when you have seen one successful integration, you have seen one process to make it happen and the success of the dissemination and implentation that creates the promised results will vary from one place to the next.

Do your homework. One size does not fit all.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What will it take to create a national medical records system?

What will it take to create a national medical records system?

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Almost every person that has experienced the US sickcare system has been frustrated by the lack of data interoperability. We are all paying the costs, now pegged at $4.1T. About $1T of the tab is waste.

Here is the case for data interoperability.

Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, is the latest person who says he wants his company to fix that.

Like those that preceded him, he will face:

  1. Stakeholders that don’t play nice with each other
  2. An enormous cost
  3. Trying to create a VAST business model
  4. Inconsistent technical standards
  5. Competition
  6. The lack of a national patient unique identifier system
  7. Privacy and confidentiality issues
  8. A highly regulated system for patients sharing their data
  9. End user resistance to dissemination and implementation
  10. Cybersecurity
  11. Connecting the kaleidoscope of the disparate elements of the US sickcare system of systems, like the VA, safety net hospitals, rural hospitals, academic centers and DOD facilities
  12. Combining financial data with clinical data
  13. Combining research data with clinical care data
  14. Varying levels of data maturity in the system
  15. Accessing data that is created outside of traditional medical service facilities
  16. The growth of retail sickcare and sicktech companies
  17. Harnessing data from the internet of medical things
  18. Integrating artificial intelligence to not only achieve the quintuple aim, but also create shareholder value that will conflict with one another
  19. Winning the “cloud wars”
  20. The lack of trust and growing sickcare technoskepticism
  21. The Cerner VA implentation FUBAR halo effects.
  22. Changing the EMR “SHIT” -single most hated information technology- to a whole product solution
  23. Accessing unstructured data on social media sites
  24. Governance of the enterprise
  25. Regulatory oversight of software as a medical device and digital therapeutics
  26. Low levels of sickcare professional and patient data literacy
  27. Barriers to international data sharing in a era of pandemics and required rapid response
  28. Fax facts
  29. Push back from patients who want to be paid for their data
  30. Decentralized clinical trial data issues
  31. DEI
  32. Leaderpreneurship skills
  33. UI/UX Will he eliminate passwords?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Sickcare USA, Inc. could provide you with the same experience as your bank ATM system?

Is Larry really the smartest person or just in the wrong room?

Image Credit: Pixabay

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17 Reasons Not to Be a Physician Entrepreneur

17 Reasons Not to Be a Physician Entrepreneur

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Judging by the headlines on their LinkedIn profile and their presence on social media, more and more MD/DOs are innovators, coaches, entrepreneurs and non-clinical consultants. Many are starting or working with biomedical and clinical startups, including a group of medical school graduates, who don’t do a residency or starting their own company.. But:

  • They are not trained to do so
  • Entrepreneurship in the US has been in a downward spiral in the US for the past 40 years.
  • Most startups will fail
  • Most startups don’t have money to pay people
  • There is an innovation bubble.
  • Job security is low
  • You have to deal with people who have entrepreneurial psychopathologies are simply untrustworthy.
  • Students loan burdens are rising
  • Many are not in it for the long run
  • There are unrealistic expectations on both the consultant/employee and employer side.
  • Most MD/MBA programs should be terminated
  • Innovation theater is pervasive.

What is physician entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under volatile, uncertain, complex and ambibuous conditions (VUCA).. The goal of physician entrepreneurs, is to create user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model to accomplish the quintuple aim. There are many ways to do that other than creating a company.

Here are some reasons why you should think twice about being a physician entrepreneur:

  1. You are not ready to innovate
  2. You do not have the courage to innovate
  3. You do not have the mindset to innovate
  4. You think that your clinical mindset and your medical degree and training is enough to succeed
  5. You are not in a financial position to take the risk
  6. You are doing it to get away from someone of some job instead of towards something that is a better fit
  7. You do not have a career transition strategy
  8. You or your family are not willing to pay the price of successive failure
  9. You are unwilling to come down off the mountain
  10. It’s not personal
  11. You are not ready to quit your day job
  12. If you decide to create a company, or work for one, making money for the company is not that important to you.
  13. You don’t have the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies to add value to a business
  14. You don’t have entrepreneurial DNA
  15. You don’t have a big enough network or know how to manage it as part of building your personal brand
  16. You don’t know how to sell things
  17. You are a problem solver, not a problem seeker.

Think twice about telling someone to take your white coat and shove it. You will save yourself and lots of other people heartburn and other people’s time, effort and money.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Future of Global Physician Entrepreneurship

Future of Global Physician Entrepreneurship

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

What’s your definition of entrepreneurship? Here’s the conventional one.

Mine is that physician entrepreneurship is the physician pursuit of opportunity under volatile, uncertain ,complex and ambiguous (VUCA) conditions with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model.

There are many myths about entrepreneurs. Here are some about physician entrepreneurs.

The life science innovation roadmap is risky, expensive and time consuming. To be successful, bioentrepreneurs whether healthcare professionals, scientists, engineers, investors or service providers, need to work as a team with their organizations to overcome the multiple hurdles taking their ideas to the market and patients. The process is neither linear nor predictable and outcomes are never guaranteed. In addition, because of global macroeconomic conditions, investors are unwilling to gamble on unproven technologies in a more hostile regulatory and legal environment. Consequently, commercializing bioscience discoveries is becoming more and more difficult. However, innovators still thrive. Where are some of these exciting business opportunities for bioentrepreneurs?

An initial understanding of the changes happening in international systems is the first step in identifying potential market opportunities. Here are but a few:

  1. Major and continual healthcare policy reforms
  2. Migration away from fee for service payment
  3. Consumerization, commoditization, internationalization, customization and digitization of care.
  4. Changing from a sick care system to a preventive and wellness system
  5. Defined benefit to defined contribution health insurance coverage
  6. Rightsizing the healthcare workforce
  7. Do it yourself medicine (DIY)
  8. Mobile and digical (physical and digital) care delivery models
  9. The growth of employed physicians
  10. Innovation management systems and increasing attention to health entrepreneurship.
  11. Increasing demand for high touch care
  12. Increasing discontinuity of cares changing quickly. All of these changes present biomedical and healthcare entrepreneurs opportunities to create new products, services, models and platforms. Patients are taking more control of funding and contributing to basic and clinical research using the internet and social media continues to play a bigger and bigger role in healthcare marketing and delivery.
  13. Demographic and economic changes and social mobility
  14. Closing the digital divide
  15. The impact of the 4th industrial revolution

Take opportunities in AIntrepreneurship, for example, in India, China, MENA and Africa

The drivers of physician international entrepreneurship include:

  1. Fear: Doctors are afraid they will suffer the professional, personal and economic consequences if they don’t adapt to change
  2. Greed: Physician incomes are threatened by innovation and new business models
  3. Necessity: Most doctors in industrialized countries have a relatively high standard of living. They did not bother themselves with innovation or entrepreneurship because they didn’t have to.
  4. The innovation imperative: The pace of change has accelerated and markets and employers are demanding more with less
  5. Generational demands: Medical students and residents are questioning their career decisions and demanding that schools provide them with the innovation and entrepreneurship education and training knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to thrive after graduation and throughout their careers
  6. The shifting doctor-patient relationship: Technology and DIY medicine is disintermediating doctors and fundamentally altering the doctor-patient relationship
  7. Resources: The internet, local ecosystems, acclerators and access to early stage capital has made it easier to start a business or develop an idea. People are connecting to the global economy.
  8. Portfolio careers: The sick care gig economy is growing and the future of work is changing. Fewer are committing to one lifetime career or job, including clinical medicine
  9. Opportunities: With change, comes opportunities and those few doctors with an entrepreneurial mindset are actively pursuing them. The opportunities in health entrepreneurship are sizable and physician entrepreneurs are increasing well positioned to capitalize on them.
  10. Culture: The culture of medicine is changing and encouraging creativity and innovation
  11. Politics: Access to quality care at an affordable price is in high demand as middle classes grow in developing countries. Not providing it leads to social upheaval and political instability.
  12. Budget deficits: The demand for care is almost infinite. However, the supply is limited. Consequently, policy makers and markets are looking for ways to improve outcomes at a lower cost through the deployment of innovation.
  13. Youth unemployment: Restless unemployed, educated citizens are demanding jobs and ways to use their talents.
  14. Economic development: Innovation and entrepreneurship is fuel that that feeds the engines of economic development in emerging economies. like Africa.
  15. Globalization: People, money and technology go where they are treated best, regardless of location.

The future of physician entrepreneurship is measured by progress in four domains: educationpracticeresearch and impact. Unfortunately, each part of the physician innovation value chain is highly resistant to change and subject to multiple barriers to dissemination and implementation. We have made progress in all, but, the results are unevenly distributed.

The future of international physician entrepreneurship will be punctuated by:

  • The coherence of disparate technologies from diverse industries other than sickcare
  • Increasing transdisciplinary and international dependencies and collaboration
  • Educational reform in health professional, public health, bioengineering and computer science programs
  • Significant regulatory, legal, economic, ethical and societal issues
  • Generational, social and demographic variations in dissemination and implementation
  • An evolving global IT cybernervous system and interoperability
  • More difficult trust, privacy and security barriers
  • A high touch backlash against high tech
  • The rise of patient sickcare entrepreneurship
  • A slow migration to healthcare from sickcare

That said, this is the golden age of physician entrepreneurship, as reflected by the record number of applicants to US medical schools, the number of doctors pursuing non-clinical careers or side gigs, the ever increasing number of biomedical and clinical ecosystems, inclusion of digital health, business of medicine and entrepreneurship education and training in medical and graduate schools and the results and impact of entrepreneurs during the COVID pandemic.

Physician medical practice entrepreneurs, technopreneurs, intrapreneurs, social entrepreneurs, philanthropreneurs, edupreneurs and others are changing the world and the movement is spreading rapidly. Fortunately, despite efforts to the contrary, there is no vaccine to stop it.

Image credit: Unsplash

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We need MD/MBEs not MD/MBAs

We need MD/MBEs not MD/MBAs

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

The number of MD/MBAs graduating from medical schools continues to expand with about 5% of the roughly 20,000 US medical student graduates having dual degrees. While in past times the idea was to get the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies to manage health services organizations, many are now doing it on the way to digital health startup land.

Most all of the 38 osteopathic schools offer dual degree programs as well.

However, MBA programs are dwindling and the ones that are still around are rethinking their value proposition and restructuring their curriculum.

For example, business schools are racing to add concentrations in science, technology, engineering and math to their M.B.A. programs as they try to broaden their appeal to prospective students overseas who want to work in the U.S.

Several schools, including Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, have unveiled STEM-designated master’s in business degrees in recent months. The University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business recently reclassified its entire M.B.A. program as STEM.

But, BMETALS is the new STEM.

In my view, we are training too many MD/MBAs that don’t add value to the system and that many programs should be terminated or restructured.

  1. We don’t know how much value the graduates contribute to the sick care system.
  2. The programs are usually not domain specific. Some think that’s a good thing, encouraging exposure to how other industries have solved generic problems. Others feel sick-care is so unique that the lessons are not applicable.
  3. Medical students are already up their waists in debt, most of which is taxpayer subsidized. Should additional debt be added to their student loans?
  4. Few of the programs address the needs of physician entrepreneurs.
  5. There are many substitutes for physician entrepreneurs around the world and US schools are no longer the mecca.
  6. Content has become generic and offered for free on the Internet.
  7. Connections are easy to make using social media.
  8. The MBA is losing credibility, given the large number of places that offer them, particularly those below the first-tier schools.
  9. Employers can see through the credentials.
  10. Costs continue to escalate and the programs do not accommodate the specific needs of busy clinician students.
  11. We need a thorough conversation about the policy wisdom of encouraging dual degrees, potentially side tracking graduates into non clinical roles when there is a global demand for clinicians.
  12. We need to track outcomes and roles of graduates to determine whether the dual degree adds value to the communities they are designed to serve and whether they are cost-effective in an era of skyrocketing student debt.

In addition, there is a difference between having knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies in the business of medicine, health systems science, health service organization management, leadership and leaderpreneurship and entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship. There is a confusing array of dual degree programs leaving students scratching their heads and, in many instances, wasting their time and money.

Also, more medical students are jumping ship to pursue non-clinical careers. While the numbers may a small portion of the roughly 20,000 first year US medical students, the trend is evident.

Instead, we should consider re-shuffling the deck and offer a new combined MBE (Masters in Bioinnovation and Entrepreneurship) degree or dual MD/MBE or PhD/MBE program.

According to Prof. Varda Liberman, the new Provost of Reichman University and Head of the MBA in Healthcare Innovation, “Healthcare systems are going through enormous changes worldwide and with the COVID-19, these changes were accelerated. There is an immediate need for a complete redesign that will necessitate innovative multidisciplinary solutions, leveraging technology, science, information systems, and national policy. Our MBA program in Healthcare Innovation, offered by Reichman University, in collaboration with Israel’s largest hospital, the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, is designed to prepare the future leaders of the healthcare industry to develop solutions that will enable the needed redesign. The program brings together all the unique advantages of Israeli innovation, to provide our students with the tools and skills necessary to understand the complexity of the healthcare industry today. The program brings together all the key players of the ecosystem – those coming from the healthcare system, engineering, entrepreneurship, AI, law, biomedicine, pharmacology, high tech, investment, management, and public policy”.

Here’s how it would work:

  1. A four-year program combining two years in medical school and two years in an MBE program, patterned similar to Professional Science Masters Programs.
  2. The medical school curriculum would be separate and distinct from that offered to medical students interested in practicing medicine. Among other topics, we would teach sales.
  3. Clinical rotations should start on day one, intended to instill an entrepreneurial mindset and emphasize being a problem seeker, not a problem solver at this stage
  4. Interdisciplinary education with experiential learning in project teams that includes business, science, engineering, law and other health professionals.
  5. Experiential learning and a mandatory internship with local, national or international company in biopharma, medtech or digital health.
  6. A new tuition and funding structure, possibly run by private equity or medical technology companies who sponsor applicants. The present medical education business model won’t work if it depends on short term revenue by putting butts in the seats.
  7. Project teams would be offered proof of concept funding and iCorps team support
  8. Domain experts would work with project teams
  9. Each student would be assigned an entrepreneur mentor throughout the program
  10. Social biomedical entrepreneurship and ethics would be core streams throughout training. Those interested in creating non-profits or going into public service might be candidates for tuition deferral or waiver.

Another alternative is to make medical school 3 years instead of 4 and offer a one year track in biomedical and clinical entrepreneurship.

The good news for educators is that you don’t need to start from scratch. Karolinska beat you to the punch.

The purpose of the degree program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to lead global biomedical innovation. Here’s what the curriculum would include:

  1. Building Biotechnology: Introduction to biomedical entrepreneurship
  2. Regulatory Affairs and Reimbursement
  3. Life Science Intellectual Property
  4. International (Bio) Business
  5. Biotech law and ethics
  6. Internship
  7. International trip
  8. Device and digital health entrepreneurship
  9. Leading high performance teams
  10. Bioentrepreneurial finance
  11. Drug discovery and development
  12. Care delivery entrepreneurship
  13. Social entrepreneurship
  14. Electives in other aspects of entrepreneurship

The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah is taking its top 10 ranked program for entrepreneurship to new heights with a master’s degree designed for serious entrepreneurs.

The degree is called the Master of Business Creation (MBC), and it’s the first of its kind.

Applicants must be full-time entrepreneurs who want to create, launch and scale a new business, who want more than the 9-to-5 job, who have the drive to overcome the impossible, who want to build their knowledge while doing, and who are willing to put in the hours to make it happen.

We don’t need more physician administrators. We need more physician innovators and entrepreneurs who can lead us out of our sick care mess and close global health outcome disparities. While I believe the optimal career track involves a reasonable time practicing clinical medicine, students are thinking otherwise. For those that do, they need a new path to creating the future and medical and business educators need to create educational products that meet their needs.

Image credit: Pixabay

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The Gilded Age of SickTech

The Sicktech Gilded Age

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

The WSJ reported that Twitter Inc. TWTR 5.66% accepted Elon Musk’s bid to take over the company and go private, a deal that would give the world’s richest person control over the social-media network where he is also among its most influential users.

The $44 billion deal marks the close of a dramatic courtship and a change of heart at Twitter, where many executives and board members initially opposed Mr. Musk’s takeover approach. The deal has polarized Twitter employees, users and regulators over the power tech giants wield in determining the parameters of discourse on the internet and how those companies enforce their rules.

In response, the NYT reminded us that two years ago, the economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman published a statistic that you don’t normally see. It was the share of wealth owned by the richest 0.00001 percent of Americans.

That tiny slice represented only 18 households, Saez and Zucman estimated. Each one had an average net worth of about $66 billion in 2020. Together, the share of national wealth owned by the group had risen by a factor of nearly 10 since 1982.

Wealth inequality in the US is rising with fewer and fewer owning more and more. As digital health consolidates and unicorns become as common as dandelions on your lawn this time of year, should we fear the Sicktech Gilded Age? What are the concerns?

  1. Will these technologies cause more problems than they solve?
  2. With wealth comes power. What will that mean for equitable access?
  3. What will be the impact on the business of medicine?
  4. Will profits precede patient interests more than they are now?
  5. What will be the impact of private equity on medical practice?
  6. How should we educate and train health professionals to work in the Sickcare Gilded Age?
  7. How will sickcare entrepreneurs respond?
  8. What will be the backlash from the sickcare workforce? Labor actions and strikes?
  9. How much more will the prices of sickcare rise as inflation eats away at household spending?
  10. Will technobarons be able to transform sickcare into healthcare?
  11. Will there be a Luddite backlash? The past is prologue.
  12. What will be the impact of sickcare technologies on society?

Or, will there the bubble pop and we will start seeing more “cram downs”? Do you trust sickcare technobarons to do the right thing?

We will have to wait and see whether Mr. Musk can unleash the value of Twitter or whether sickcare barons can do the same. Many other billionaires have failed trying.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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19 Things Physician Entrepreneurs Don’t Get About Sales and Marketing

19 Things Physician Entrepreneurs Don't Get About Sales and Marketing

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Many biomedical and health marketing and sales people ask about tips and techniques on how to sell to doctors. But, very few doctors or physician entrepreneurs have much interest in how to market and sell to patients and other customers. The conventional wisdom goes that they are “too busy” or “don’t have the time” and that they are trained to take care of patients, not take care of business.

I disagree, as I’ve explained in many other posts. However, sales is not in the medical school course catalog.

During a pandemic, that is not an option. Here is what you need to know about digital marketing now.

Here are some social media strategies you should use in the post-pandemic world.

Do you know how to rank #1 on Google?

Ogilvy, one of the most respected marketing firms globally, has recognized this shift by stating that the traditional “4 Ps of Marketing” are out and the 4 Es are in.  

  • Experience is more important than Product
  • Everywhere (Omnichannel) is now Place
  • Exchanges outweigh Price
  • Evangelism is more valuable than Promotion

Here is the job description for a social media manager for Microsoft:


  • Design and execute a slate of rich social media strategies that resonate with our diverse and global audience and drive its implementation across our key campaign moments.
  • Define social media priorities, set goals and targets, aligning with audience insights. Proactively identify areas of optimization, set best practices, and communicate these across teams.
  • Partner across MSR Labs, Campaign Marketing, Community Engagement, Comms, Editorial, and Web/Media Production to support opportunities for rich scientific storytelling.
  • Serves as a trusted advisor to senior leaders through strong communication and influencing skills.
  • Creates and presents business reports that outline impact driven and provides recommendations based on outcomes.
  • Ability to focus on business priorities and create boundaries to ensure successful project completion.
  • Work with the paid social media team to execute and deliver on overall campaign KPIs.
  • Continuously improve on results by capturing and analyzing the appropriate social data/metrics, insights, and best practices, and then work with marketing managers to execute on those KPIs and leading indicators.


Required Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of practical experience in a global enterprise social media environment or global agency in the field of social media.
  • Experience in the use of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, or Club House, etc.).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Exceptional formal and colloquial communications skills.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively within a team and across organizational and team boundaries.
  • Ability to manage complex projects in a fast-changing environment.
  • Proven track record for new, innovative approaches, and smart risk taking.
  • Understanding and natural curiosity of evolving social media trends.
  • Experience with tools like Sprinklr, Opal, Excel, and Power BI.
  • Positive attitude, detail and customer oriented along with strong multitasking and organizational acumen.

Here are 10 things docs don’t seem to understand about healthcare sales and marketing:

1. That they are different. Said another way, the marketing team figures out the strategy. The sales team executes the battle plan. Marketing serves the interests of the buyer. Sales serves the interests of the seller.

2. That they are complementary and have to be aligned

3. That the sales plan should not be an afterthought when building the business model canvas or business plan for a new venture.

4. That branding is not sales and marketing and that B2B marketing is different than B2C marketing.

5. That the Internet and social media have revolutionized how they both are done.

6. That service after the sale is just as important as selling the product and that they need to pay attention to the aftermarket.

7. That they don’t need to worry about any of this because they work for someone else who does it or they are busy enough.

8. That they should just outsource sales and marketing to someone else and just see patients.

9. That they can just depend on word or mouth referrals. It used to be docs played golf with their friends, but they now work on Wednesdays .

10. That all they need to do is hang a shingle to be successful because they have been reading about the shortage of doctors.

11. If you are a physician entrepreneur selling to doctors, you will relate to these tips on how to sell to doctors.

12. Every customer segment in sickcare requires a different value proposition, marketing and distribution/sales strategy. The 4Ps can rapidly become the 8, 16 or 24 Ps.

13. They actually believe they are the best and that “there is no competition”. Maybe it’s time for you to step back and create a competitive analysis matrix.

14. AI, changes in social media and VR/AR are rapidly changing how marketers are building their brands, engaging customers and driving sales and lead conversion.

15. There is a big difference between vanity numbers at the top of the funnel or prospect funnel and people who are ready, willing and able to buy (about 3% of the people you contact). Here’s a way to tell the difference

16. The difference and practice of segmentation, targeting and positioning

17. These ten most effective marketing techniques are a diverse group of online and offline strategies. Each technique is most effective when it is working in concert with the others.

18. When to hire a marketer

19. Consultative sales is more about leadership than sales

Most importantly, they don’t understand that branding a service is different from branding a product. That’s, in part, why they are losing patients to non-MDs.

Most entrepreneurs, including doctors, are still stuck in the spray and pray marketing mindset instead of inbound model. The idea is , instead of you finding patients and customers, help them find you.

What’s more, they don’t understand sales operations . The main function of the sales operations team is to smooth the sales process—reduce any friction and incorporate itself to the organization so as to ensure the execution of the sales strategy.

The basic building blocks of medical practice online marketing include building a website, having an search engine optimization (SEO) plan, using social media and managing your online reputation.

Hospital strategy and marketing officers, particularly those who have been recruited from consumer goods and service industries, stare in amazement at board meetings trying to understand why their docs won’t wear the sneakers and compete with the guys down the street. They fail to understand the culture of medical education and the profession that fundamentally places institutional affiliation and engagement way down the totem pole compared to peer acceptance and cooperation.

Another problem occurs when non-sick care entrepreneurs want to hire doctors as advisors, when, in fact, they want them to be salespeople to hospitals and other doctors on commission. The fact is that , in most instances, doctors lack sales knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies to do the job.

The main reason most doctors are not sales and marketing savvy is that they never had to be and they don’t want to be. But, times have changed. Maybe with an attitude adjustment, they’ll be able to get in a quick 18 holes after all.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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How to Balance a Culture of Conformity with Creativity in Medicine

How to Balance a Culture of Conformity with Creativity in Medicine

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Medicine, by its nature, is a culture of conformity. We are trained to do no harm, be risk averse, and conform to the standard of care. We follow “best practices” i.e. what everyone else is doing, and are encouraged to follow evidence based guidelines. Medical students are chosen by their ability to score highly on standardized tests and check off the requisite boxes in their application. They know what to say in interviews…over and over again. Physicians have to pass standardized tests to get a license and be board certified to practice and maintain certification.

Now that medicine has become corporatized and more and more doctors in grey flannel suits are working for the man, things have worsened.

Successful innovation and entrepreneurship, on the other hand, encourages a culture of creativity. Now that students, trainees and clinicians are getting more and more interested in physician entrepreneurship and the business of medicine, how do we encourage and balance the two cultures?

  1. Encourage cognitive diversity, not just demographic diversity, in decision making
  2. Don’t penalize failure. Showcase it instead.
  3. Create ambidextrous organizational departments and units that can plan for not just the now, but the next and new as well.
  4. Use evidence based techniques for ideation and creative problem solving. Here are 3 to get you started.
  5. Recruit, hire, develop and promote for creativity
  6. Create psychologically safe spaces to say things
  7. Forget brainstorming
  8. Hire leaderpreneurs who can drive cultural change
  9. Know the difference between good rebels and bad rebels
  10. Don’t confuse disruptive doctors with disruptive doctors
  11. Learn to resolve the conflict between the ethics of medicine and the ethics of business

Sometimes thinking outside of the box will get you in trouble. Other times, not doing so will box you in. You decide.

Image credit: Pixabay

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