Don't Make These Rookie Physician Entrepreneur Mistakes

Physician entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under conditions of uncertainty with the goal of creating user defined value through the development and deployment of biomedical or clinical product, process or policy innovation. There are many ways to do that, including starting a company.

If you decide to start a company or work for one, either full time or as a side gig, beware of these diagnoses. If you have them, get treatment.

1. Ignoring that you don't know what you don't know.
Rx: Your success will depend on life long business and entrepreneurship education, resources, networks, mentors and experience

2. Thinking that what got you to where you are now will get you to where you want to go
Rx: You need to come down off the mountain from your clinical perch

3. Not separating your business finances and structure from your personal ones
Rx: Create a business entity with appropriate financial and legal controls

4. Ignoring the impact of your ambitions on your family
Rx: Have "the conversation"

5. Applying your clinical mindset to business problems
Rx: Yes, there are areas of overlap. There are also significant differences.

6. Not protecting your intellectual property
Rx: Get the right professional IP advice sooner than later

7. Looking for money instead of having money find you
Rx: Bootstrap as much and for as long as you can. Make it easy for money to find you.

8. Being unprepared for success and not protecting your assets
Rx: Have an asset protection and wealth management plan

9. Not taking personal responsibility for your failures and, therefore, not learning from them
Rx: Diagnose and treat your personal entrepreneurial psychopathology. Exploit your personal motivators to succeed.

10. Not taking enough shots on goal Rx: Entrepreneurial success depends on how many times you try. Just don't spread yourself too thin. Prune and focus and reallocate your portfolio on a regular basis

11. Ignoring how you will be paid for your technologies
Rx: Have a reimbursement plan from the very beginning.

12. Thinking that having an MD or MD/MBA after your name makes you a physician entrepreneur.
Rx: Don't let your degrees get in the way of your education.

13. You don't ask yourself the right questions often enough
Rx: Ask yourself these questions.

Here are some more landmines.

It is extremely unlikely that you will do any of these things. That is, until you have to. But, you are used to working in a sick care system, right?

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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