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Seven Secrets to Becoming a Successful Intrapreneur


For those physicians who want to be entrepreneurial physicians, but don't think their circumstances permit them to take the chance, the secret is to become an intrapreneur.

For the past seven years, my focus has been working with physician entrepreneurs (actual and wannabes) — those adventurous souls who set off to brave the wilds of self-employment.

More recently, I've been receiving questions such as this one:

"I have an entrepreneurial spirit but my circumstances don't permit me to take a chance on leaving the organization where I have been an established and quite successful medical director for four years. What advice can you give me?"

While I am not in the advice-giving business (coaches don't typically advise — instead they facilitate self-discovery of answers and self-fulfillment of potential), I have given this question much thought, and here are my musings.

The secret is to become an active physician intrapreneur!

I love this part of the definition of intrapreneur (first coined in 1978):

"A person ... who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation."

I've alluded to "innovation" in health care in the recent past. "Risk-taking" is part of the definition of an entrepreneur, and "assertive" suggests a willingness to step out of the shadows, into the sunlight and start heading down the path of being a contributor, and even a potential disruptor!

What then are the seven secrets to becoming a successful physician intrapreneur? Find out.

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