Physician entrepreneurship should not be feared, but encouraged. Yes, doctors can chew gum and walk at the same time and that's good for patients.
The joke goes that some people think all things in the world can be understood by dividing them into a 2 x 2 matrix: those who believe it and those who don't. I've come to see that when it comes to the idea of physician entrepreneurship and educating and encouraging doctors to do it, there are those who love it and those who hate it.
I think it's a good idea and have said why many times and many ways. However, here are 10 reasons why others don't think so:
1. Because they are afraid they will place the profit motive above patient interests.
2. Because they don't trust "business people" and, when it comes to medicine, "money is dirty" and the root of all evil.
3. Because they think entrepreneurship is about creating a business.
4. Because they think entrepreneurs are dishonest.
5 Because they think it corrupts the professionalism of medicine and encourages conflicts of interest.
6. Because they think it attracts the wrong kind of person into medicine.
7. Because they think it is a waste of a medical school education and has no place in the curriculum.
8. Because they are fed up with "high priced suits" who don't add value ripping off the system.
9. Because they don't think doctors can do both and should stick to medicine.
10. Because they think doctors are innately lousy business people.
Some are really worried that this will empower doctors and restore them to their rightful place at the table. They are all valid concerns. Unfortunately, in my view, while there are lot of bad apples in any profession, there are countless examples of physician entrepreneurs demonstrating the contrary.
Physician entrepreneurship should not be feared, but encouraged. Adding value through the deployment of innovation to a system riddled with waste should be encouraged not discouraged. Yes, doctors can chew gum and walk at the same time and that's good for patients. You don't have to leave the bedroom light on tonight after all.