Physician Entrepreneur

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.