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Strikes against physician entrepreneurs

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The recent vast changes in healthcare have lead many physicians to consider becoming entrepreneurs. Arlen Meyers,  co-founder, president and chief executive of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, advises cauti0n in an essay headlined “Don’t Throw Away Your White Coat.”


He writes:

1. Most doctors don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset.

2. Doctors are trained to be risk-averse.

3. Doctors are more interested in being problem solvers than problem seekers.

4. Doctors tend to be unidimentional, unwilling to expand their networks beyond an inner circle.

5. The culture of academic medicine, where almost all doctors are trained, tends to be anti-entrepreneurial and sees “money as dirty”

6. The ethics of medicine frequently are at odds with the perceived ethics of business.

7. While things are changing, most doctors are independently minded and not team players.

8. Some are “know it alls” who are not receptive to new ideas

9. Doctors spend a lot of time, money and effort becoming doctors. The opportunity costs or leaving clinical medicine to pursue an entrepreneurial venture is high.

10. The cost to society of losing a clinician at a time when there is a predicted doctors shortage is high.

“Everyone is different, and some physicians surely have a real grasp on business. In fact, some physicians might even be better suited for business than practicing medicine. But maybe clinical training can detrimentally affect the way a person approaches the entrepreneurial environment. Worth considering and evaluating before taking off the white coat, indeed.”




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