A couple of weeks ago we profiled Health:Further Chief Medical Development Officer Mario Ramirez’s career and how those brought him to his current role as a clinician entrepreneur. This week we spoke with Greg Goodman, another clinician entrepreneur and the founder of Physician Entrepreneur Summit, about why he took an unconventional path to his medical career. We’re structuring this article in a Q&A format, let us know what you think. And be sure to listen to the podcast for the whole story.
What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?
When you’re going into medical school, it’s a really traditional approach. ‘Let’s train you to be great doctors’ and they pack a lot in the four years. [That’s] a really important mission. But as healthcare iis transitioning and there’s new payment models, and new delivery models and new technology, I really see an opportunity for physicians not only to be great clinical players within the team, but to really think about how they can impact and affect healthcare on a broader range. [T]hey’re really close to that patient. They build that bond…we learn all the evidence-based medicine, but what we’re not learning is really how to leverage those clinical skills and think about them more broadly.
I want to be involved in the entrepreneurship community. How do I do that and what’s the education? And so for me, I’ve got to help create more doctors that can add value to the space.
How did you do it?
I kinda dove off the deep end. I’d done some social entrepreneurial ventures and done some smaller little startups outside healthcare and said, I’m going to dive off the deep end. I’m going to kind of build my wings on my way down. I got pretty lucky and I got to work with a healthcare startup at the time called Remedy Partners, which was building new payment models. And for me, I think it’s really hard. Everybody’s at a different stage. But for me it was this burning passion and desire that I saw my ability to have an impact on a greater scale than just doing one patient at a time. And I think that’s the mindset that I see some of the newer doctors wanting to do, which is, “I really want to have an impact.”
What can physicians, and clinicians more broadly, provide in the context healthcare innovation?
doctors want to [get involved] and there’s a range of ways to not only kind of improve that patient-to-patient interaction […] but to really think about the scaleability of building delivery models and thinking about healthcare in a new light. And I think doctors and other clinicians are really positioned with the patient in the center. They understand what’s going on and form that bond and have a unique perspective to hopefully add value to some of these other big movements in healthcare as we transition from fee for service to value, or we think about bringing in some new technology and thinking about how we take care of patients over time.
What’s the mindset for clinicians trying to break into healthcare innovation?
I think the key opportunity for doctors […] is to figure out another skill where you can start to bridge the gap and translate.
There’s ways to get involved by not going on a traditional path and [instead] saying, all right, I’m going to join a startup and I’m going to work with the data, the development team[…] I’m gonna learn a whole new skill. And then I think over time they’re able to kind of really developed some expertise on two ends and you can start really translating how other business or technical opportunities can really be translated into creating better care with greater outcomes.
[P]art of it is really figuring out how you can take those clinical blinders off and building a second skill set and reading different journals and having conversations with other people within the healthcare space. And then learning how to translate your clinical expertise into other areas of the healthcare business world or the healthcare ecosystem.
What’s the mindset for people on the business side?
The big opportunity is to recognize that doctors can have a different hat. The clinical team should really encourage and support and promote physicians that are wanting to be creative and wanting to look at things differently. And so I think the big question is, how do you identify that talent within your organization? How do you foster that talent and help them to really understand some of your key objectives? […] Having them participate in that discussion, I think the lens that they can bring to the table is really valuable.
So I think identifying and fostering a community of collaboration and encouraging more doctors to participate and sit at the table. And then identifying those that really want to take a big role and supporting them and saying […] what are some of the business opportunities that they’re bringing to the table, how can we take this really cool clinical model and build a business opportunity around it for our organization.
I think they’re going to be ahead of the curve, those organizations that really promote and allow doctors to be on that board, or seat at the table.
What about the time commitment for clinicians?
One of the challenges is that doctors spend a lot of time practicing and building that skill set. [It’s] figuring out how to balance that. In terms of what I’m looking for […] I’m finishing up my training in four months. I knew I wanted to split about half my time […] I want to be a great doctor, [and] I want to make an impact. I think as more and more organizations realize that, how can we structure contracts and opportunities for doctors to say, “Hey, we know you need to practice, you need to get that hands on experience.”
I think structuring deals now where doctors can start to participate, [where] they gain the clinical side and they gain the business muscles together and they build it as a dual skill. That’s what more organizations need to think about.
Explain what you’re doing with the Physician Entrepreneur Summit
The Physician Entrepreneur Summit is a online conference. [T]hat was kind of the big vision, that we could get physicians from all around the world to speak about entrepreneurship. It’s broken down into three different doses. Dose number one is called “Business Residency.” So what does it mean to really build an entrepreneurial new venture, how do you raise money, how do you build teams?
The second dose is “Future of Care.” So thinking about what are the trends, what are the new payment models, what are some of the new exciting opportunities in healthcare that a lot of people are excited about.
Dose number three is “Impact.” So how can you take Business Residency and Future of Care and have an impact? Could you be an advisor, could you be a chief medical officer, could you be an investor, could you build product?
Beyond that, I’m very excited about the work we’re partnering up with at Health:Further to have the online version and then the live version [at the Festival]. I hope that some of the doctors that participated online can come around the table and connect in a really intimate setting, and we can go over some of these topics and hopefully form some connections and have some stories of people that went through this journey and just said, I want to make an impact. I’m going to do it.