Entrepreneurship may be a way to help clinicians fall in love with medicine again.

Public Health

Why Entrepreneurship is Needed in Healthcare

"I am a firm believer that physicians have the potential to make the BEST entrepreneurs. We have the work ethic, the unbelievable capacity to learn, the networks and the funds.”

As a pulmonologist, should you consider expanding into podcasting, paid speaking, coaching and consulting, or maybe serving as a media expert?

Diversifying is more important than ever for physicians, says Dr. Nneka “Una” Unachukwu, whose speech at a Women in Medicine Summit was chronicled in a recent Healio post.

“We’re going to look at the opportunities that we have as physicians to be entrepreneurs, and we’re going to look at entrepreneurship as a critical part of the solution needed in healthcare,” she said.

Citing findings from the 2018 Future of Healthcare Survey, she noted that seven of 10 physicians said they would not recommend healthcare as a profession to family or friends — and those sentiments may have heightened in intensity since then as staffing shortages and other challenges ratchet up the pressure on the healthcare profession.

Something needs to change, says Unachukwu, who is founder and medical director of Ivy League Pediatrics in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

“We have to figure out how to fall in love with medicine again,” she says.

She put the survey number in perspective: If you have a million doctors, 700,000 of them are saying don’t choose medicine, it’s not good for you. Unachukwu shared suggestions on ways that physicians can create an identity and assess their entrepreneurial potential by asking themselves a few questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What assets do you have?
  • What opportunities are available?

“I am a firm believer that physicians have the potential to make the BEST entrepreneurs,” she writes on her LinkedIn homepage. “We have the work ethic, the unbelievable capacity to learn, the networks and the funds.”

She is author of The Entre MD Method, A Proven Roadmap for Doctors Who Want to Live Life and Practice Medicine on Their Terms, in which she says she will teach doctors to build a personal brand and start their own profitable business.

Independently of Unachukwu’s work, some physicians already have embraced social media and become known personalities for their contributions — and opened doors for future business endeavors.

One ENT physician, Dr. Inna Husain, created a Tik Tok video on throat clearing and why it isn’t good for you that went viral with more than 5 million views. She then decided to use it as a platform for teaching good laryngeal health and to draw attention to the specialty.

Dr. Steven Gold, an otolaryngology–head and neck surgeon with ENT and Allergy Associates in Hackensack, New Jersey, has created ear wax removal videos on Tik Tok, under the name “Dr. Booger,” that have attracted more than 1 million followers and 12 million likes, and he has an Instagram account with more than 71,000 followers.

Imagine the public speaking, podcasting and media expert possibilities.

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