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How Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?


When doctors start practicing physician entrepreneurship, they are often their own worst enemies when it comes to making the necessary adjustments needed to succeed.

The culture, ethos, and ethics of medicine are different from the culture, ethos, and ethics of business and, as a result, when doctors start practicing physician entrepreneurship, they, like many, are often their own worst enemies when it comes to making the necessary adjustments they need to succeed.

The problem is not unique to doctors. Most managers have a career-limiting habit.

Physician entrepreneurs can shoot themselves in the foot in three basic ways: self-destructive thinking, feeling, and acting.

Self-Destructive Thinking

1. Dismissing the entrepreneurial mindset, carrying a big hammer, and seeing everything as a nail.

2. Know-it-all-ism.

3. Failing to see potential opportunities for improvement the way they approach clinical diagnostic problems.

Self-Destructive Feeling

4.They project anger, cynicism, and resentment and they don't play nice with others.

5. They are narcissistic and lack empathy.

6. They dismiss the contribution of luck to their success.

Self-Destructive Acting

7. Low emotional intelligence in some personal and social awareness and action domains.

8. Saying one thing and doing another, particularly when they are unwilling to accept the opportunity costs of participating in the innovation process. Raising your hand or moving your lips is not nearly as important as moving your feet and showing up.

9. Not knowing the difference between being a disruptive physician in the medical sense and being a disruptive physician innovator in the business sense.

10. Blaming the system and refusing to change instead of taking personal responsibility for driving your own train off the tracks.

Sometimes, when it is clear that you are sabotaging you own career, it is time to move on and find another place.

On the other hand, if you intend to stay where you are and advance, you might have to make some major attitude adjustments and, maybe, fake it 'till you make it.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice