I have always found the entrepreneur an intriguing character. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I held a fascination with figures such as the nerdy but supremely wealthy Bill Gates of Microsoft, or Britain’s own charismatic and adventurous Richard Branson. They have wealth, control and the confidence that comes from knowing that they made it all happen themselves.
Most impressively, entrepreneurs often use their self made fortunes to attempt to benefit mankind. Bill Gates intends to give away most of his billions to help cure disease and Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, Tesla and Paypal, wants to colonise Mars within our lifetime.
Before entering medicine, I would wonder if one day I might become an entrepreneur.
Of course, I’m now contented and settled in my role helping my patients as a GP. But I still have respect for the entrepreneur and for startup culture. They are inventive, creative, hardworking and prepared to fail fast and fail often until the problem is solved and job is done.
Healthcare is facing a perfect storm of challenges. The list is familiar; increasing patient expectations, older and more medically complex populations, availability of more but higher cost treatments, and shrinking or static budgets. To continue to deliver universal care, good care and to also control costs, we will need to do things differently.
Many believe that medical entrepreneurs and startups can help us face these challenges by using new and emerging technology to find innovative solutions. To allow us to improve care, control costs and treat everyone. To let us have our cake and eat it.
With these hopes in mind, I joined a hundred or so other medical, technology and financial professionals at the Doctorpreneurs day conference at St Thomas Hospital London on Saturday 5th November.
It was a great opportunity to listen, talk to and study that fascinating species, the Doctorpreneur. Over the next 5 weeks I will take you back to anatomy class and we will peel back the skin and take a look at what is behind a doctor led medical startup.
- Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅕ – The Founder – You’re reading it!
- Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅖ – The Idea –Catch up here!
- Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅗ – The Team – Catch up here!
- Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅘ – The Funding – Catch up here!
- Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur 5/5 – The Pitch – Coming soon
Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅕ – The Founder
Observations and insights from my notebook on the Doctorpreneurs event 5/11/16…