Doctors leading healthcare entrepreneurialism has long been ingrained in US culture, notably due to the monopoly of the private sector. Well established networks and organisations like the Society of Physician Entrepeneurs (SOPE), exist to ensure that physicians are well connected with the services essential to develop any business such as venture capitalists, lawyers, marketeers, online media services etc.
In the UK, however, entrepreneurialism amongst doctors has generally been treated as an unspoken badly-kept secret, despite several reasons why doctors make great entrepreneurs.
Yesterday evening I attended Journeys of Health-Tech Innovation: Product to Market; an event hosted by Nabarro and HTI Labs.
The event was a platform of tasters for all the tech based healthcare startups that are quietly excelling in their field; many led by medics and scientists who made sacrifices to get their product to market.
A few examples include Stephanie Eltz and Suman Saha of Doctify (left image from thisismoney.co.uk), who have successfully overcome several obstacles and events in the last 8 months which include transforming a powerpoint presentation into reality, securing substantial financial investment, dealing with this (somewhat cheesy) image that accidentally went viral on social media, and balancing Orthopaedic training; all with the ultimate desire to connect the general public with a private healthcare professional of their choice.
We were joined by Laura Draper,Paediatrician and Medical Director of Dr. Ed; a soon to be rebranded, online doctor service providing prescriptions for common conditions at convenience. She described how she loves working with her entrepreneurial team who, having recently celebrated their 400,000th order very recently, frequently hold a ‘Learning Lunch’ where each member shares a life skill or knowledge.
I’m fascinated whenever I meet fellow likeminded inspirations in the entrepreneurial sphere, simply because we’re connected by similar experiences, having uncovered of a fascinating and limitless career of creativity, autonomy and freedom.
At the beginning of this year, Medic Footprints connected with the growing global community of Doctorpreneurs, headed by Avi Mehra which is an invaluable network for technologists in healthcare; perhaps the most lucrative emerging sector in modern days. Our collaborative efforts with Doctorpreneurs have enabled us to keep our eyes, ears and hands in a growing niche network to which we may otherwise not have access to.
Most recently, to further legitimise entrepreneurialism as valued skill amongst medical professionals, the NHS has recently announced the Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme, spurring an innovation culture alongside research in healthcare. Competition for this programme which is open to all junior doctors, is likely to be fierce; anyone with a clinical business idea or product can apply.
With all this flurry of activity, especially within the last year, finally the flood gates are open!
Welcome to a new generation of doctors leading healthcare and beyond.
We’re re-running our popular Enterprising Doctors workshop in March 2016!
Learn how to start up your own business with any business idea and network with doctors who are in various stages of their own enterprises!
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Read my article on reasons why doctors make great entrepreneurs.
Abeyna Jones is an Occupational Medicine Registrar & Medical Director of Medic Footprints
@DrAbeynaJones – feel free to connect with me on Twitter.