Mon, 20 May 2013
Dr. Richard (Rich) Sagall is a very busy physician entrepreneur these days. As co-founder and president of the 501(c)(3) non-profit NeedyMeds, he is reaping the rewards of having pursued his passion -- helping those whose circumstances make receiving affordable healthcare treatments and services a significant challenge.
Over 25 years ago, Rich began his clinical life as a family physician in practice and went on to work in occupational medicine, before ultimately moving full-time into his own non-profit start-up.
On the advice of his father, he wisely looked ahead while still practicing clinical medicine, and anticipated the day when providing care one-on-one to patients would no longer satisfy his sense of purpose. He began to acquire multiple ancillary skills, including computer programming and comptency with the Internet.
A chance conversation with a medical social worker colleague, Libby Overly, provided his next opportunity and NeedyMeds was born in 1997.
NeedyMeds started life almost as a hobby and has evolved to the point that it was named one of theTop 50 Non-Profit Best Places to Work in 2013, alongside such luminaries as the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer's Association and The LIVESTRONG Foundation. Its statement is as follows:
Listen to my conversation with Trailblazer Rich Sagall MD of NeedyMeds and then rejoin The Entrepreneurial MD to add your thoughts.
Wed, 17 October 2012
Dr James Bernstein is a man of many careers and talents.
Starting out as a newly minted internist and then surgeon, he was invited to work in Dr Jonas Salk's lab. With a bit more time on his hands (no night or weekend call!), he reflected on what he really wanted to accomplish with his life. His chief insight at the time was that, as a practicing physician he could impact several lives, one at a time. But, inspired by role models like Dr Salk, he quickly recognized that his desire to make a real difference to many more people could only be realized using leverage as a businessman. Finding ways to funnel his medical training and experience into businesses that made things and delivered services to hundreds if not thousands!
From there evolved his career as a serial entrepreneur - and his philosophy of social business that has increasingly sought to improve the quality of life for millions of impoverished people in the world.
Listen to his inspiring story and shared wisdom in our informal conversation. Please then rejoin us on The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to add your comments.
His email address if you would like to contact him is James.Bernstein@EniwareSterile.com and you can join his Global Ambassador Corps here.
Sat, 26 May 2012
Most physicians graduate medical school, or later from our residencies, our heads and hearts filled with idealistic aspirations. We carry internal visions of what we hope to do with this hard-earned degree ... make a difference, do special work, earn the respect of our colleagues and love of our grateful patients...
What we didn't expect was how hard it would be to face the realities of starting a practice, developing our own following of patients or physician referrals, and making a living.
This shock was no different for Jeffrey Hartog MD - a South-African born plastic surgeon who started his career training as a dentist (we discovered we were classmates in South Africa for the one year that dentists and medical students trained together!) and went on to retrain several times as a maxillofacial and then plastic surgeon. His dream - to become a highly specialized pediatric cranio-facial expert.
Instead, he faced the reality of needing to support a growing family and setting his sights on new and different goals.
To indulge his entrepeneurial spirit, he built his own surgical clinic. To appease his restless spirit, he began several years ago to explore the newly-developing field of fat-grafting, resulting in the development of his own FDA-registered fat back, which he describes as follows:
In this 18-minute podcast interview, I explore with Jeff the challenges and opportunities that being an entrepreneurial physician has dished up.
When you are done listening, please return to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to add your thoughts or comments.
Tue, 8 May 2012
How many steps does it take you to reach your referring physician colleague to give feedback regarding your recent consultation with his or her patient? Do you have to dictate a letter that must get into the hands of the physician? Must you have your staff get him or her on the phone?
What is involved in finding an expert who can quickly answer your pressing clinical question while the patient is still in your office? How do you find that expert, and then actually reach him or her?
And, most importantly, how much productive time are these activities costing you each week or a month, as a result of this effort?
Jeff Tangney is out to transform your experience and return hours of time to you, using the connective power of technology.
As a co-founder of Epocrates, he saw firsthand what having "power in your pocket" looks like - instantly available information that a physician can look up in a moment, to ensure the best care.
This got him wondering about the other transformative powers of mobile technology.
What if you were able to access the intelligence and years of experience of a group of physicians, with a few taps on your mobile?
How would physicians be able to use mobile technology to collaborate? And what was needed to rapidly connect with a referring physician or specialist to who you'd like to refer a patient, or get a quick curbside consultation?
To respond to this perceived need, Jeff Tangney founded Doximity, one of the fastest growing physician networks. Not only is the company thriving, but Jeff has a vision of how networks like his can help sustain the professional freedom that we physicians have come to appreciate and value as necessary to provide the best patient care possible, despite the increasing "corporatization" of medical practice.
When you have finished listening to this interview podcast, come back to The Entrepreneurial MD to add your thoughts or questions
Mon, 12 March 2012
I confess that I have long fantasized about writing a book, along with learning Italian and learning to play the piano, or reconnecting with my adolescent guitar-playing self ... for now the fantasies have to remain just that. I guess this blog is my creative outlet for the near future!
But for those of you for whom writing a book is a pressing or deeply engaging matter, the news is good. Help is at hand.
My "Insights from the Professionals" conversation today is withLisa Tener, a book writing coach, published author, blogger and speaker who is passionate about helping aspiring authors get their message out by helping them write a book and get published.
Not only does she have her own company, but she also serves on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School continuing education course of writing and publishing books.
Lisa is a whiz at what she does - she has helped several of my clients figure out how to express themselves and their expertise or ideas through the written word, and we talk about some of her book-writing success strategies, such as:
... how to overcome those blocks to getting started
Lisa is about to launch yet another of her excellent Bring Your Book to Life programs ... designed to walk you through the process of getting your first draft written by the end of the program. It is the one that several of my clients have participated in and used to get their books written and comes highly recommended by them.
Note: She has generously offered a 40% discount for my readers for the class if using the paid in full option, using the coupon code "SAVE40". This is only available until 3/20/2012 so act quickly if you want a considerable savings.
Listen to my conversation with Lisa and then return to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to add your comments or questions.
Fri, 24 February 2012
Kathy Stecco MD is the poster child for the physician career of the next generation.
A general surgeon who trained at Stanford in the hotbed of Silicon Valley innovation, Dr Stecco was soon lured into the world of medical device due diligence, biotechnology startups and venture capital.
Encouraged and aided by remarkable mentors, Dr Tom Fogarty of Fogarty catheter fame, and entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mir Imran, she transitioned into co-founding four medical device startup companies, with plans for more in the near future.
Talk about the patchwork physician career of the future!
She maintains a small concierge-style medical practice to "keep her hand in", while consulting, maintaining her role as an entrepreneurial physician and business owner, and staying sane through her passion for mixed martial arts. Additionally she spends part of the year traveling while supervising global clinical trials.
Listen to my interview with this successful physician entrepreneur and then return to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to share your thoughts and comments.
And if you would like to be in touch with Dr Stecco to learn more, her email is email@example.com.
Mon, 19 December 2011
Ask any doctor who has been taking care of patients for 25 years or more what it's like to be working in the trenches, and you're likely to encounter someone with a deep experience of the US healthcare system.
Dr. Angel Garcia is one such a physician - an internist who is not only still in practice but who is also the entrepreneurial physician creator of an electronic medical record, and an author.
His book, Do No Harm: Saving Our Healthcare System, was written with the idea in mind of improving the doctor-patient relationship. He embraces the idea of an educated "patient consumer" and offers some basic ways in which patients can care for themselves at home with minor symptoms before rushing into the doctor's office, urgent care, or worse still, emergency department.
He is also careful to paint a portrait of life as a doctor working under the constraints of the contemporary US healthcare system, in the hopes that patient expectations can be better managed.
Listen to my 20-minute interview with Angel Garcia MD in which we explore his entrepreneurial side. And then come back to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to add your thoughts.
Tue, 22 November 2011
"Accidental entrepreneurial physician" Melanie Bone MD was way too busy to have to contend with the illness that struck her as a young mother and practicing gynecologic surgeon.
Barely 40, with a husband and four kids under the age of 6, Dr Bone was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. As challenging as her journey was through the surgeries of bilateral mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation, she never failed to exercise her powers of observation.
Once she realized she wasn't going to die as she expected, she began exploring ways to put her new-found discoveries about the experience of being a "cancer patient" to good use. Her non-profit foundation, CancerSensibility.org (updated website coming) was her launching pad, followed some years later by her for-profit on-line store, CancershopUSA.com, geared to the support of patients with cancer, and their families and friends who loved them.
Listen to Dr Bone's powerful story as an entrepreneurial physician, still-practicing gynecologist, mother of now four teenagers, and cancer survivor with a distinctive take on what it means to have faced hell and lived with gusto to tell the tale.
When you are done, I invite you to come back to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog and share your thoughts!
Mon, 24 October 2011
If you have multiple interests or passions and you are an entrepreneurial physician, how do you find a way to marry all of this into a single entity AND turn it into your professional occupation?
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.
Having moved on to his third entrepreneurial venture, Dr. Rogove appears to have found a winner, not the least reason being that he has bootstrapped the business through careful analysis and business planning.
This innovative physician service group is redefining how highly specialized services can be delivered consistently and in a high quality manner to less well-served areas of the country.
He is busy creating a model for medical delivery of the future!
Listen to my interview to find out how Dr. Rogove came up with his business idea and executed it, and then please come back to The Entrepreneurial MD Blog to add your comments.
And should you be interested in career opportunties with his forward-thinking company, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Fri, 7 October 2011
Daniel Palestrant MD is a man with a clear mission.
As the founder of Sermo, a 130,000+ physician-strong networking platform, this deeply thoughtful entrepreneurial physician businessman and leader intends to create the go-to on-line "conversation pit" to facilitate nationwide physician dialog and collaboration.
Since the days of the doctors' lounge or dining room are largely products of a bygone era, he envisions a cyber community, exclusive to physicians, where curbside consults occur, knowledge is shared, and opinions rendered - across time and geography.
Like almost all entrepreneurial physicians, Dr. Palestrant began his journey into business from a background in medical training. As a surgical resident, he questioned the in-the-box reductive thinking demanded of him by his professors and peers. Sidelined by a back problem, he found an opportunity to reflect on the match (or non-match as it turned out) between his entrepreneurial inclinations and the role that was being carved out for him in his highly traditional surgical residency training.
He was able to draw upon his prior experience as an entrepreneur, having created and sold a healthcare informatics company and conceived of and created a commercial Web-based healthcare resources for physicians and allied health professionals
As a result, Sermo was born in 2006. And judging by its growth over the last 5 years, it is a true entrepreneurial physician success story ... with plenty more up its sleeve, including its new Sermo Mobile app, "giving physicians real-time access to the knowledge base that resides with the network’s member base of doctors".
Oh, and by the way, a little known fact - Daniel Palestrant is part South African -- yeah!!
Our conversation was so wide-ranging that I decided to create a Part 1 and a Part 2 podcast.
Listen here to our podcast conversation Part 1, which is focused on how he became an entrepreneur. In Part 2, yet to come, we will talk about his insights into the roles that physicians can and should play as healthcare undergoes reform in the coming years.
When you have finished listening to this interview podcast, come back to The Entrepreneurial MD to add your thoughts or questions