How to curate physician entrepreneurs at scale

Now that COIVD has magnified the already yawning gaps and inequities in US Sickcare, Inc, we are facing the challenge of creating physician entrepreneurs at scale. The Maginot line we created is no match for the blitzkreig. We can’t find and train the numbers and kinds of the troops we need by drafting them. Our defenses and battle plan were designed to fight the last war.

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly and dramatically accelerated the need for new workforce skills. The rapid rise of digitization and remote work has placed new demands on employees who, in many instances, now require different skills to support significant changes to how work gets done and to the business priorities their companies are setting. Also required: help from their employers to develop the skills that will make the overall business, and its individual employees, future-ready.

Compared with the results from 2019, many of the skills where respondents report the biggest increases in focus fall into two categories: social and emotional skills (which account for three of the five biggest increases) and advanced cognitive skills 

We are at war with assaults on our health and the economy and no longer is it sufficient for us to produce or be satisfied with a small minority of doctors interested in pursuing opportunity under VUCA conditions with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model i.e bioimedical and clinical entrepreneurship.

A handful of doctors doing side gigs is insufficient. What’s more, once COVID passes, the urgency will pass and most doctors will go back to what they were doing before the assaults-practicing reimbursement based fee for service medicine to restore their financial losses suffered during the pandemic. Call it the medical Marshall Plan.

Here are some ways to ramp up our physician entrepreneur human resource needs:

  1. Start with entrepreneurship basic training and bootcamp in undergraduate school and continue healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship education through medical school, residency, fellowship and lifelong learning continuing education beyond
  2. Create high value bioentrepreneurship continuing education programs and rethink medical conferences.
  3. Use social media technologies to build physician entrepreneurship communities and tribes
  4. Rethink how we accept applicants to medical school
  5. Create entrepreneurial medical schools
  6. Break down the entrepreneurial silos
  7. Build a curriculum that gives graduates the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies they need to win the 4th industrial revolution
  8. Differentiate the clinical mindset from the entrepreneurial one
  9. Give promotion and tenure credit to faculty who practice the scholarship of entrepreneurship
  10. Hire, develop and promote leaderpreneurs who use inspiration not manipulation to change behaviorLead innovators, don’t manage innovation.

Physician intrapreneurs should get special training and extra hazardous duty pay. Here is the field manual they should memorize before deploying to the front. It should be numbered and returned lest it fall into enemy hands.

If you can’t serve on active duty, then join the reserves.

Or, maybe you want to be a digipreneur guerilla fighter or on the prestigious medical SEAL team.

Like those in Vichy during the years before D-Day, we are in occupied territory. Collaborators abound that give aid and comfort to our enemies. A handful of agents and spies composed of special operations cells gathering intelligence and carrying out acts of sabotage is just a start. We need an invasion force and we need to train them quickly.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs