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Healthcare Startups Need Practicing Physicians at the Table

Larry Volz, MD, writes about the importance of physician entrepreneurs staying in practice.

There are healthcare startups it seems everywhere. With the ever looming healthcare crisis around us, it is exciting to see everyone trying to devise their own solutions.

A couple years ago I was contacted about a super exciting medical device CMO opportunity.

I asked if there would be an opportunity to have some clinical practice. They said they would NOT allow for clinical practice. Conversation over.

I wonder, how many of these companies, hospital systems or hospitals have physicians sitting at the table. Not just someone with an M.D. or D.O., but a currently practicing physician. Someone that is in the battle, feeling the daily pain points of delivering patient care.

 

I wonder, how many of these companies, hospital systems or hospitals have physicians sitting at the table. Someone that is in the battle, feeling the daily pain points of delivering patient care. Click To Tweet

 

Having practicing physicians at the table is critical.

It requires commitment. Commitment not only from the physician but more importantly the organization to allow their clinical team members to wear both a suit and scrubs.

When I was a hospital CMO, I maintained my surgical practice. I took call. I was in the OR, ER, clinic and using the EHR. I battled with insurance companies for authorization. I saw first hand what a short staffed ER looks like at 2AM. I personally felt the struggle of my patients navigating the system.

 

When I was a hospital CMO, I maintained my surgical practice. I took call. I was in the OR, ER, clinic and using the EHR. I battled with insurance companies for authorization. Click To Tweet

 

I was able to do both jobs because I had amazing team members and leaders.

They didn’t ask me to do things that a non-physician could do. They scheduled meetings when I could be there. They understood when I was late or missed a call because clinic or surgery ran long. They just rolled with it when I got called away for a trauma.

They were committed to allowing me to practice. They knew the value that keeping me in the trenches brought to the organization.

This is not an attack on non-practicing physicians currently in leadership roles. It is difficult and critically important work.

This is just a call to encourage organizations to ensure we have physician leaders, that are making the decisions that shape our nations future don’t just remember, but practice clinical medicine.

This is a call to fellow physicians to maintain your clinical skills as you expand your entrepreneurial or business ventures.

I believe…

Your companies will be better.
The future of medicine will be better.

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