What it Takes to be a Biomedical or Clinical Entrepreneur

by Arlen Meyers

What it Takes to be a Biomedical or Clinical Entrepreneur

Biomedical or clinical entrepreneurs are not just doctors, scientists and engineers who create businesses.

Instead, they are those who pursue opportunity with scarce resources under conditions of uncertainty with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment of biomedical or clinical innovation. As such they can assume many roles in the value creation pipeline such as technopreneurs, intrapreneurs (employees acting like entrepreneurs) ,social entrepreneurs, investors or small-medium size business owners.

Almost every health professional, scientist and engineer has a good idea. Unfortunately, that is all it will be because they don’t know what to do with their idea and the are unlikely to learn how during their formal training. Here are some tips on what to do next.

Here are some thoughts about who they are and what it takes.

Some key attributes are :

1. Mindset Innovation starts with the right mindset.

2. Talent

3. Opportunity

4. Luck

5. Knowledge, skills and attitudes. Unfortunately, doctors get duped into thinking that getting an MBA gives them the right to call themselves physician entrepreneurs. More often, they are trained to be managers.

6. Networks and becoming part of the expanding network universe

7. Mentors and sponsors and knowing the difference and how to find them

8. Resources

9. Experience. Here are some tips on how to get started as a physician entrepreneur.

10. Emotional internal motivation

11. Social and emotional support networks

12. A sandbox where they can play and experiment

13. Humility

14. Coning down off the mountain. What got you to where you are now won’t get you to where you want to go.

15. Finding your blind spots.

16. Making it personal but not taking it personally.

17. A personal brand

18. At first, be a problem seeker not a problem solver

19. Entrepreneurial habits

20. Strategic thinking

Learning this “hidden curriculum” should start in elementary school and continue as part of lifelong learning.

Very few medical schools or resident training programs, if any, teach medical students or residents the business of science and medicine and that is a big mistake, since learning how to create user defined value is as important and difficult as practicing state of the art medicine. The curriculum is the traditional one, guided by learning objectives and the secret one, including network development, people skills and learning how to play the game, which, in my opinion, is a bigger determinant of success than the grades on your transcript.

Unfortunately, few doctors, scientists or engineers have the package. But, those that do are creating great things for patients, themselves, their regional economies and US global competitiveness.

 
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Image credit: So Tyred

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Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org and co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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