Jun 18, 2021 09:52 AM EDT
How to Be a Successful Physician Entrepreneur
It's important for physicians and health care professionals to be business-minded in today's environment.
For example, physicians increasingly see the importance of revenue cycle management, and they're addressing the challenges it can present in order to increase their financial performance.
Physicians are also getting creative in how they provide patient care, and they understand that being an entrepreneur or being business-minded doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice patient care.
With that in mind, the following are some of the important things to know about being a physician entrepreneur right now.
What is a Physician Entrepreneur?
A physician entrepreneur is a broad term, and it can mean a lot of different things. It could be as simple as looking at your practice or career as an independent contractor through more of a business lens. It could also mean that you're an innovator, and you take scarce resources and use them to solve a problem in the industry.
It could also just mean rebranding something that already exists in another way.
There are so many challenges that could potentially be addressed in health care. For example, there are issues in providing chronic health care to an aging population.
There are barriers to some communities in how they receive care. There tends to be a resistance to receiving care. All of these are things that you can potentially look at from the perspective of not just a physician but an entrepreneur.
Look Outside the Patient As Your Customer
As a doctor, you might inherently gravitate toward the idea of the patient also being the customer. That's one option, but not always the best.
You have to consider the fact that patients aren't the ones who are paying for the majority of their health care in most cases.
Maybe your customers instead become employers who want to improve the health of their employees because they cover parts of their health care costs. Your customers could be insurance companies or maybe government agencies.
Social Responsibility vs. Profitability
One of the key areas that you'll have to think about as a physician entrepreneur is how you'll balance social responsibility and profitability. This isn't exclusive to health-related businesses. It's something companies across all industries are grappling with right now.
Your overarching goal as a physician entrepreneur is going to be maintaining benefits for general public health.
Use Your Strengths
If you're interested in venturing into the world of physician entrepreneurship, it's a good thing to know your strengths and use them.
You should know not only what you're good at but what you're passionate about.
Of course, at the same time, you also have to know what your limitations are, and if those are areas that are relevant to your business, then seek out guidance from experts in those areas.
Never Stop Learning
One interesting commonality that you'll find exists between being a physician and being an entrepreneur of any type is that you always need to be learning. That's how you stay competitive and innovative.
Don't underestimate the importance because as both a doctor and an entrepreneur, learning is how you're going to be able to identify new opportunities.
The Steps To Take
Doctors who want to become entrepreneurs can follow certain steps to get there.
First, as has been briefly touched on, you need to identify a problem. Don't start with a product or a solution. Successful entrepreneurs in any industry will almost always tell you they started with the problem.
You have to think about where there's a need and how you're going to fill that.
From there, know what role you're best suited to. For example, maybe your role is going to be product development or chief medical officer rather than CEO, and then you find someone else who can be CEO.
Once you have a business plan and a general structure, you'll start thinking about how to raise capital.
Learning how fundraising works is something that's probably going to be pretty foreign to you but also important and relevant.
To give you a little motivation, consider examples like Dr. Rodger Novak. Dr. Novak is the co-founder and CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics.
His company is working on gene-editing technology to eliminate diseases like cancer and muscular dystrophy.
Another example is Dr. Kevin Knopp, who is the co-founder and CEO of 908 Devices. 908 Devices is providing mass spectrometry to labs.
Overall, doctors do make great entrepreneurs, no matter what your misconceptions might be. You're inherently a problem-solver when you're a physician, and your desire to question and understand can help you create a business.
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