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We Need Entrepreneurial Medical Schools


Many universities are calling themselves

Many universities are calling themselves "entrepreneurial".

Most; however, are just putting old wine in a new bottle. For them, the goal is to graduate students who can create a viable and sustainable business.

Creating a business is but one way to deliver user-defined value and limits the scope of entrepreneurial education and training. For medical schools and graduate training programs, the goal should be to graduate students with an entrepreneurial mindset who can create user-defined value in whatever form they decide to do it, including starting or running a business with a viable business model.

It could be a process innovation. It could be a user-experience innovation. It could be an analytics tool that substantially lowers cost and improves outcomes.

For most academic medical centers, innovation is described and measured by technology transfer metrics, like patents, licensing revenues, and spinouts.

Unfortunately, innovative universities described in these terms are not necessarily entrepreneurial universities. Some are beginning to realize that and are rethinking how they do the business of science and medicine.

It’s so hard to create entrepreneurial medical schools. Here is how to create them.

Entrepreneurial universities and medical schools should not just be about graduating students who will create businesses. Instead, every graduate should be trained to create user-defined value. After all, that's how they are, more and more, being paid. The fact that doctors don't know how to deliver value is part of the reason it is so hard to kill fee for service medicine.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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