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Seven secrets to becoming a successful physician intrapreneur

For the past 7 years, my focus has been working with physician entrepreneurs (actual and wannabes) ... those adventurous souls who set off to brave the wilds of self-employment.


More recently, I've been receiving questions such as this one:

"I have an entrepreneurial spirit but my circumstances don't permit me to take a chance on leaving my organization where I have been an established and quite successful medical director for four years. What advice can you give me?"


While I am not in the advice-giving business (coaches don't typically advise - instead they facilitate self-discovery of answers and self-fulfillment of potential), I have given this question much thought, and here are my musings.


The secret is to become an active physician intrapreneur!

I love this part of the definition of intrapreneur (the term was first coined in 1978):
"A person ... who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished productthrough assertive risk-taking and innovation".

I've alluded to "innovation" in healthcare in the recent past. "Risk-taking" is part of the definition of an entrepreneur, and "assertive" suggests a willingness to step out of the shadows, into the sunlight and start heading down the path of being a contributor, and even a potential disruptor!


What then are the seven secrets to becoming a successful physician intrapreneur?

    1. Cultivate a clear Vision for what you believe is possible. Learn how to inspire others within the organization with skilful story-telling and presentations.

    1. Communicate your Passion for improvement, innovation, quality - whatever it is that that gets your juices flowing

    1. Articulate your Skills and Talents and how they can benefit your organization - you can do this without blowing an obnoxious trumpet

    1. Offer your Enthusiasm to anyone who will listen -

    1. Network skillfully to uncover those who will serve as your Champions

    1. Become your own best Advocate - once again, your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence will pay big dividends

    1. Develop Perseverance - a now-recognized trait of successful entrepreneurs!

Philippa Kennealy ran a private family practice, and a hospital, before building her coaching business helping MDs launch and run successful practices and businesses. Visit her online to learn more.

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Philippa Kennealy is President and founder of The Entrepreneurial MD. She is a business advisor, coach and teacher to physicians grappling with the challenges of launching, building or growing their own successful practices or businesses.

She is a board-certified Family Physician who left her own private practice in 1996 to embark on an administrative career as first Medical Director and then CEO of UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center. Subsequently, she served as Executive VP in two internet start-up companies, before launching her first coaching and speaking business, Oya Consulting.

Philippa is passionate about professional development for physicians that permits them to reinvigorate their careers and overcome burnout. As reported to her repeatedly, physicians long for more control over their lives. She believes that entrepreneurship is one way to reintroduce physicians to their own creativity and resourcefulness. Her experience of working with physicians has shown her that, with encouragement, a belief in their own abilities, and a pragmatic approach, they are highly capable of making their inventive ideas a reality. They are, after all, a hard-working, dedicated, smart group of people!

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