The 3 C's: What you bring to the table as a physician.
If you are a doctor interested in working with industry, you'll need to take a look at your value propostition-what you promise to deliver- before sticking your toe in the water.
There are several places to contribute and participate in different roles. Fundamentally, however, whether you work in drugs, devices, diagnostics, healthcare IT or service innovations, as a physician you bring three things to the table that industry wants. I call them the 3 C's: content expertise, credibility and connectedness.
The first is your domain CONTENT and clinical expertise. Like no one else, you bring an understanding of clinical problems, patient issues, potential solutions, work flow processes, an understanding of the socio-economic landscape and a feel for what makes docs tick. Your contribution will be to help industry partners "live in your world" for a while and share your insights about barriers to adoption and penetration of new products and services.
Secondly, because of your experience, background and reputation, you bring CREDIBILITY to the enterprise. Of course, your value increases as you become a recognized thought leader, researcher, published author , blogger or leader in your specialty organizations. Sometimes, the initials after your name or your academic or organizational affiliations add value.
Finally, you bring CONNECTEDNESS to the value chain of innovation. The more you can build networks to inventors, suppliers, service providers, patients and potential customers, the more attractive you will be to industry as a marketing, product development or business development consultant or partner.
If you are interested in bioentrepreneurship, working with industry is a great way to get started and build a base of knowledge and experience. Sure, finding the right fit and opening the first door is not easy. You'll have to kiss a lot frogs to find your first opportunity. The more you bring to the table, however, the more likely you are to find your prince.