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Nonclinical Medical Careers > Physician Entrepreneurship

Dr. Smartguy was making rounds one day and , once again, was frustrated with the fact that he had to search the floor for dressings, antiseptic, tape, ointment, and all the other things he needed to change dressings on rounds.
Then the light bulb went off. Why not invent a simple mobile dressing cart that had everything in one place? Over a cup of coffee in the surgeon's lounge, he scratched out an idea on a napkin, stuffed it into his white coat, and excitedly marched over to the hospital adminstrators office. "I have a great idea", he exclaimed. The look on the administrators face indicated in no uncertain terms that this idea was going nowhere. The next morning, the good doctor was found rummaging through equipment racks on the floor looking for gauze sponges.

There are about 1M practiciing physicians in the US and most of them have great ideas. About 5% pracitice in an academic environment with technology transfer professionals eager to capture and exploit the intellectual property of their faculty. Unfortunately, there are few such resources available to non-academic docs who want to commercialize an idea, invention or discovery. Until now. The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs was formed to help primarily community based practitioners get their ideas to market. By providing education, networks, resources and money, our goal is to remove the friction in the biomedical innovation pathway and help healthcare inventors and entrepreneurs reach their goals.

If you have an interest in physicain entrepreneurship, contact us at www.sopent.org Future postings will address the whys and hows of biomedical technology commericalization. Let us know how we can help.

From idea, budding technology, potential information innovation, "diamonds in the rough" or your "better mouse trap" the road to build a business is long and tortuous that spans building the right team, picking the right partners, sourcing capital, marketing and sales, protecting IP, organizational and capital structure among others, Physicians taking the plunge will need the network, resources, know how, experience of organizations like The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, MIT Enterprise Forums and select other high value groups to support and guide, provide honest, constructive feedback, introductions to the right people or teaming partners at the right time.

Funny, when I was a med student on a surgical rotation, the surgical resident said to us " you are a walking supply closet, If we need any supplies you should have it in your pocket"

I read a book a few years ago by Professor Ian Angell a professor at the London School of Economics called the New Barbarian Manifesto. It is a treatise on surviving in the new information age. One of the key points is, contrary to Karl Marx’s thinking, that it is not the time that goes into providing a service or manufacturing a product that determines value, but talent.

If time was the determinant, the assembly line worker manufacturing the widget would be making as much as the man who invented it. As another analogy, most of us in our youth could play basketball, but only Michael Jordan got contracts in the tens of millions to play. Obviously, his talent was greater. People were willing to pay to see Michael Jordan play. I wouldn't have gotten a dime.

In traditional fee for service medicine, as I have noted elsewhere, the standard laws of economics have been violated. A glaring exception would be areas such as cosmetic surgery where third party payers are generally not involved, and patients are willing to pony up thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to improve their appearance. Think about it. A woman may willingly pay thousands of dollars for breast enhancement, but balk about paying $50 out of pocket for a mammogram, expecting it to be covered by insurance. Obviously, something in the system has become distorted.

But I digress. In order to get back in the game where the laws of supply and demand are allowed to function, we as physicians need to maximize our talents, not necessarily our time.

The key to success as an entrepreneur is knowing what your unique talents are and offering this talent to the marketplace.

Jan 6 | Unregistered CommenterAlan N.

I read a book a few years ago by Professor Ian Angell a professor at the London School of Economics called the New Barbarian Manifesto. It is a treatise on surviving in the new information age. One of the key points is, contrary to Karl Marx’s thinking, that it is not the time that goes into providing a service or manufacturing a product that determines value, but talent.

If time was the determinant, the assembly line worker manufacturing the widget would be making as much as the man who invented it. As another analogy, most of us in our youth could play basketball, but only Michael Jordan got contracts in the tens of millions to play. Obviously, his talent was greater. People were willing to pay to see Michael Jordan play. I wouldn't have gotten a dime.

In traditional fee for service medicine, as I have noted elsewhere, the standard laws of economics have been violated. A glaring exception would be areas such as cosmetic surgery where third party payers are generally not involved, and patients are willing to pony up thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to improve their appearance. Think about it. A woman may willingly pay thousands of dollars for breast enhancement, but balk about paying $50 out of pocket for a mammogram, expecting it to be covered by insurance. Obviously, something in the system has become distorted.

But I digress. In order to get back in the game where the laws of supply and demand are allowed to function, we as physicians need to maximize our talents, not necessarily our time.

The key to success as an entrepreneur is knowing what your unique talents are and offering this talent to the marketplace.

Jan 6 | Unregistered CommenterAlan N.

Like Babe Ruth said, "What the hell has Hoover got to do with it (his contract being bigger than the Presidents)? Besides, I had a better year than he did."

Talent (the value proposition) is only one factor in the success equation. The others are satisfying a large unmet need (patients wanting cosmetic surgery or hitting home runs) and a business model that generates a profit (cash payment for services from the patient or ticket sales).

My view is that the imperative to control costs will result in a three tier system (safety net, most folks and pay as you go).
Fee for service care will continue to erode (because more and more will be funded by the Govt), benefits will increasing be de-linked from employment (because business owners want to be freed from healthcare ecomonic slavery), value transparency will empower some patients who don't want nanny care to make their healthcare decisions, and a technologic overhaul of the system will measure what we want to get using data analytics and business intelligence.

Physician entrpreneurs will figure out how to make lots of money in the new system...like a generation of doctors did after the passage of Medicare in 1965.

The advice I give For all My Children, is there is One Life to Live. Whether you've been at General Hospital for 30 years or if you're the Young and the Restless, there is Another World that will fill The Days of our Lives! Join SoPE. You're not all washed up!!!

Thanks to Kathleen Meyers .

Is that Society of Physician Entrepreneurs?

Your URL is incorrect for the Society of Physician Entrepeneurs... It's sopenet.org

Jan 20 | Unregistered CommenterSade S

Thanks. The URL is www.sopenet.org and linkedin group
TWitter at ArlenMD and follow us on T Tube and Facebook too.

Hello,

I am International medical graduate with ECFMG certification , live in ohio. I am seeking family medicine residency. I need consultation.
Please any one know weather enrolling in master degree of aerospcae medicine in wright state Uinversity will increase my chance to obtain family medicine residency??

Thanks

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