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Watching the Parade Go By


When it comes to bioentrepreneurship, most will be watching the parade from the sidelines.

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Bloggers, pundits, and experts are delivering two messages when it comes to health entrepreneurship: it's the only way we will innovate our way out of our Sick Care mess or it's a terrible idea and it is eroding medical professionalism, further subjecting patients and their pocketbooks to the ills of capitalism.

I'm in the former camp. But, the fact is that given the culture of medicine and how we select and train doctors, most are not cut out for entrepreneurship and do not have an entrepreneurial mindset. However, things are changing:

1. Biomedical and health entrepreneurship has gone mainstream and entered the medical establishment consciousness

2. Community-based innovation, research, and funding continues to grow.

3. More education, resources, networks and experiential learning opportunities are available to potential biomedical and health entrepreneurs.

4. Students in graduate schools and health professional schools are pushing for more non-academic education, training, and experience, and faculties are responding.

5. Technology transfer models at major research universities are changing.

6. Medical education reform is ongoing.

7. Private practitioners have a renewed sense of urgency and empowerment and are pushing back against outdated and wasteful regulations and IT mandates that don't add value.

8. The economy of the US is improving and the demand for biomedical talent is high.

9. Non-clinical opportunities for doctors continue to expand.

10. Patients are demanding a seat at the table.

The cruel reality is that for most scientists, engineers, and health professionals, biomedical and health entrepreneurship is a bad idea and they should not quit their day jobs. That said, every private practitioner needs to learn how to run their practices profitably or find someone who can assist them doing it. But practice management is not entrepreneurship.

When it comes to bioentrepreneurship, i.e. the pursuit of opportunity using scarce resources with the goal of creating user defined value through the creation, development, deployment, and harvesting of biomedical and health innovation, most will be watching the parade from the sidelines. The good news is the future looks bright, the opportunities are big and many more will be riding on the floats in the future.

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