Why Doctors Need to be Entrepreneurs

New Practice Business Paradigms Emerging

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


It is more important than ever for private practice physicians to sharpen their entrepreneurial edge, and I mean that in a good way. And, with the various healthcare reform options being discussed today, I hear a recurrent theme that in order to bring healthcare costs down, and the quality of patient care up, physicians are going to have to be smarter, more efficient and results driven.

Think like an Entrepreneur

In other words, think like an entrepreneur running your practice. I use “entrepreneur” in its positive sense: innovative, creative, nimble, frugal, and so on. For some, the word entrepreneurial is negative, as in greedy or always distracted by the financial aspects of work, but I disagree with that negative interpretation.

The Past Paradigm

In the past perhaps, starting and managing a medical practice was pretty standard stuff. Get your medical degree, hang out your shingle, and you stayed in business as long as you took good care of your patients.

THINK: Marcus Welby MD

The Future Paradigm

But, there’s no doubt the classic private practice paradigm of the last 50 years will disappear and new practice models will evolve. It’s fair to say, I think, that no two practices will be completely alike and instead there will be many versions.

THINK: Micro-medical practices, retail clinics, Just-in-Time and lean medical management, tele-health and e-health, house-call doctors and social networks, group office visits, ambulists and intensivists, etc.

Another Opinion

Some of the “reformers” might argue that all medical and healthcare practices should operate like McDonald’s and in some practice settings maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad approach.

But, to counter that opinion and state the obvious, patients are individuals, and require tailored specific care, unlike a hamburger that gets cooked exactly 90 seconds on each size. The tailored-care approach makes much more sense to me.

Personalized care will be the new paradigm, in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, stem-cell solutions to diseases and in every direction healthcare is improving and evolving today. Private practices can deliver personalized tailored care better than any other practice model. Practices should partner with the government, private entities, or big institutions, to benefit from their resources of scale, as the private practice will be the best vehicle to deliver the personalized care of the (near) future to our large and diverse population.

THINK: A different vision.

Modern Times

Physicians as entrepreneurs can, and will, make the future of health care happen. These are heady and exciting times.

For an example of what I mean, just ask Herb Rogove DO.  As an “early adopter” of the intensivist, the hospitalist and the telemedicine models – and as someone who saw the potential to leverage his knowledge of these different areas – Dr Rogove has been able to create a mashup of his passions in his entrepreneurial physician start-up business, c3o Medical Group.

THINK: Protean


See the “Power of Me-Inc” for Physicians

Link: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2009/06/03/the-power-of-me-inc-for-physicians/


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3 Responses

  1. How new doctors will kill private practice!

    What are new medical graduates looking for in their first job?

    According to American Medical News, they’re looking for jobs with the following criteria:

    “The most important items would be the ability to show a stable, growing practice and quality of life … The stability would come from a practice that generates most of their collections from commercial insurance, as Medicare cuts are looming. The ideal quality of life would be a four-day workweek with little to no call.

    Financially, they would need to offer employment plus production bonus and would need to be above the 50th percentile for their specialty.”


    Allow us all to say: Good gig if you can get it.

    Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CMP™
    [Managing Editor]


  2. Sound Medicine

    Sound Medicine is a radio show produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio.


    In the last few years, I’ve visited them for new ideas, innovative concepts, opinions and thought leadership essays. You should too.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  3. Can Entrepreneurs “Cure” Health Care With Technology?

    Today marks the beginning of the 8th annual Healthcare IT Week.


    Healthcare IT Week was started and continues on as a collaborative forum for public and private healthcare constituents to discuss the value of health information technology (health IT) for the U.S. healthcare system.



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