When a doctor completes their many years of training, they face a new challenge: establishing and developing their private professional practice as an entrepreneur.
Perhaps they join forces with colleagues and rent an office, or maybe one of their teachers invites them to collaborate. Regardless of the circumstances, there’s something that young doctors are often not taught.
By practicing medicine in the private sector, they take the first step towards entrepreneurship. Due to the humanistic nature of their profession, they become, perhaps unknowingly, a “social entrepreneur.”
Private Doctors are Social Entrepreneurs
Private medical practice shares 4 main characteristics with other businesses, including:
Implementation of systems and processes
Customer service (in this case, patient care)
Financial risks and rewards.
In his book E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber notes that “anyone who starts a business becomes three people at the same time: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician, and they often come into conflict.”
The businessperson is the visionary, who sees even the most trivial condition as an exceptional opportunity. They take risks and open new clinics or partner with colleagues.
The doctor shares this personality trait, with a desire to be in control of people and events around them.
What makes a physician successful in private practice is balancing all three personalities, when:
In the realm of entrepreneurship, a doctor can bring unique skills and perspectives to the table. As an innovator, the doctor as a venture capitalist can identify gaps in the healthcare industry and develop creative solutions to address them. However, entrepreneurship is not just about having great ideas – it also requires effective management and implementation.
This is where the role of the manager comes in. While the entrepreneur is focused on generating new ideas and pushing boundaries, the manager provides the necessary structure and organization to turn those ideas into reality.
4 Key Characteristics of a Social Entrepreneur in Private Medical Practice
When only the entrepreneur is in charge, many projects and dreams never come to fruition. When the manager takes the reins, they are only interested in “counting the pennies.” When the technician is the boss, there is no vision for the future, and disorganization leads to chaos.
A serious mistake among doctors is being too technical, only wanting to practice medicine without worrying about administrative aspects and without looking towards the future like an entrepreneur. But the harsh reality is that if doctors only like seeing patients, giving consultations, and performing surgeries, they are the technician and might be better off as someone else’s employee, such as in institutional medicine.
If doctors want to take their lives to the next level, they need to embrace the visionary and the manager, foster their skills, give them freedom in their field of action, and work together as a team.
To quote Gerber:
In the words of Gerber, “We must tell ourselves that it is time to create a new life. It is time to challenge my imagination and begin the process of shaping my new existence, and the best way to do it in this world full of opportunities is by creating an exciting and new business that gives me everything I need and that people return to because of the good experience they have had in it.”