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About Philippa Kennealy

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
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Tuesday
Nov122013

For physician entrepreneurs: FutureMed - a future glimpse of medicine

Last week I attended the FutureMed 2013 Conference in San Diego. There I was, seated in a very Silicon Valley kind of way (see my picture of the gorgeous comfy white seating, bean bags included), enjoying a mind-expanding experience that I have still not had the time to fully process since my return home.

The top 5 themes that emerged, with implications for all you physician entrepreneurs who are bent on stirring your forward-thinking creative juices, are:  

  1. The future is exponential:
    Technology and its accompanying knowledge have exploded exponentially and the costs of technology are decreasing exponentially (sequencing the Human Genome cost about $2.7 billion and one decade later, you can get a reasonably detailed analysis for $99 from 23andme.) It is time to stop your linear strategic planning, and aim instead for the exponential extrapolation of your business. What will that look like?
  2. It's all about Genomics and Personalised Medicine:
    We understand increasingly how our genomes predispose us to certain diseases, and how epigenetics influence gene expression. With our individual genomic profiles readily available at decreasing costs, we can imagine early on what the potential impact is of environment (internal and external) on our genetic expression -- and make necessary modifications to limit the development of diseases we may be predisposed to.
    There are at least 4 companies now doing highly accurate prenatal genomic testing that can replace amniocentesis. And after a baby is born, its DNA can be fully sequenced, helping identify disorders like phenylketonuria much earlier than existing tests can. It's just a matter of time before this is the standard of (affordable) care.
  3. The Quantified Self
    Sensors are now ubiquitous (got a smart phone? Use a Fitbit?) and are generating streams of data that have huge potential to help manage wellbeing and disease. The big challenge is figuring out how to derive real meaning from all the data -- your next business opportunity??
    Many startups exist in this space - two of my favorites were PatientsLike Me and Scanadu with its soon-to-be release Scout.
  4. Disruption is the next big thing in healthcare.
    Technology and innovation are creating great upheaval in medicine - think of a 3-D printed trachea, the democratization of health information via the Internet and now on your smartphone, DIY biotechnology, and Citizen Scientists. Expect that the next big breakthroughs will disrupt the status quo.
  5. Care will be truly patient-centered and proactive.
    ... as opposed to reactive and disease-centric. The health systems of the future will encourage and provide resources for patients to be the "
    CEOs of their own health care teams".
    According to Fogg’s Behavior Model (B=MAT), behavior is a function of motivation, ability, and trigger at the same time. Technologies can improve both "ability" and "trigger". The biggest prize will go to those who can come up with useful and reproducible ways to motivate and engage patients, or simply people, long before they need to become patients! 

Time to put on your clever and creative thinking caps, my physician entrepreneur friends! 

(photo below courtesy of FutureMed 2013 - our group, appropriately "scrubbed")

Tuesday
Sep172013

Multi-talented physician entrepreneur starts women's wellness business

A newly-minted physician entrepreneur, Dr Tara Coles is all energy - an ER physician, mother of four, artist, writer, speaker and self-professed healer with a zest for learning and putting her multiple talents to work.

Her passions extend to women's wellness, integrative approaches to health and nutrition, mindfulness and creativity, and she is fired up by the vision that, in the face of a failing healthcare system (as seen through the exhausted eyes of an ER physician), there has to be a better way to engage people, especially women through building community into their lives. And community is a place of shared struggles and triumphs, and laughter.

Tara's magazine-style website Women's Wellness and Health is currently her signature site, and is the launch pad for future websites that will focus on art, and services she plans to offer clients. She maintains a very active social media profile on Facebook and Twitter -- an excellent move to begin building an following for her future businesses.

Listen to Tara tell her story about her journey into becoming a physician entrepreneur and then please add your comments or thoughts here. 

Wednesday
Sep112013

5 fantastic resources for bootstrapping a physician business startup

Bootstrapping your physician start-up can at times seem like an overwhelming task. But with med school loans to pay off and business and daily expenses, it can be hard to come by the extra cash needed to fund your start-up.

Fortunately the Internet has come to our rescue with a huge array of services to help launch most low-overhead physician businesses relatively quickly. Using these resources will allow you to gain clients, network with your peers, prepare legal documents, and keep accurate notes. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Evernote 

My overall favorite "extra brain" (that doesn't seem to suffer from menopause!!

Working as a physician consultant often means having to juggle a lot of balls at the same time. Evernote makes keeping track of what you are doing much simpler. This is an online tool that allows you to file away web pages and documents or emails, write notes, snap a photo or record your thoughts on audio. Two of the best things about Evernote are a. that it is searchable and b. that it syncs across all of your devices. That means if you own a tablet, a laptop, smart phone and a desktop, you can have access to your files ("Notebooks") no matter which one you are using.

     2. 99 Designs 

First impressions are crucial. According to recent research from Princeton University it takes only one tenth of a second for us to form an initial impression. This is especially true in the online environment where websites are constantly competing for viewer’s attention. 

Therefore you want to make sure your website looks as good as possible. Hiring a website designer can be difficult or expensive. 99Designs is a creative solution - a marketplace for designers. Using 99 designs, you first submit a design brief (banner, logo, ebook cover etc), and then dozens of designers provide their ideas for your design. You select the one that you like and voila ... the designer completes the task.  

     3. Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the best ways of nurturing leads and educating them about your physician business or consulting services. Email autoresponder services allow you to automate this process and deliver prewritten emails to prospects who choose to receive them. A couple of examples include Constant ContactMailchimp and Aweber -- all an easy-to-use autoresponder services which feature great-looking email templates. They are either free or low-cost to sign up with and so there really is no reason not to get started.

     4. LinkedIn 

Whether you are looking to network with peers or to find clients, LinkedIn should be your first destination. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn is all about business. LinkedIn offers a wide variety of groups in the healthcare industry which you can join and contribute your well-thought-out and useful content. No need to even have a blog, if you don't want one. LinkedIn also offers an advertising platform which allows you to target users by their job title, seniority, location, industry and company. 

     5. LegalZoom 

As a physician business owner or consultant, you will need legal documentation, from website terms and conditions through incorporation papers to partnership or vendor agreements. LegalZoom is an online service that enables users to create their own legal documents. This significantly reduces your costs compared to those of having a lawyer prepare the documents for you. 

While these resources are fantastic for bootstrapping a physician business start-up, they are by no means the only ones. The Internet has made it easier than ever to launch a start-up without the barrier of prohibitively expensive services.

And what other resources have YOU found invaluable for your non-clinical physician business?

Tuesday
Aug272013

The entrepreneurial physician couple that pings together in business 

This is a first for me – the chance to interview an entrepreneurial physician married couple in which each of the partners brought different and complementary skills to the table to build a healthcare technology business together.

Drs. Manju and Gopal Chopra teamed up several years ago to bring to market a HIPAA-compliant secure communication platform (it's actually a smart phone or tablet app) called PingMD, that enables patients and families to rapidly communicate with their healthcare providers instead of being placed in an endless phone tag loop. In addition, healthcare providers can use the app to be in instant contact with one another via text messaging, for those invaluable curbside consults or referrals that result in enhanced patient care.

Dr. Manju Chopra is not only an entrepreneurial physician, but also continues to practice as a pediatrician focused on improving access and care for her patients and families. It was her frustrations inmedical practice that provided the germ of their business idea.

Her husband, Dr. Gopal Chopra, on the other hand, is a seasoned physician entrepreneur with an impressive history in investment banking, medical technology and business development. In addition, he owns several patents for inventions.

Listen to the story, along with the challenges, of how the Chopras ended up being in business together, while maintaining a marriage, a practice and their roles as parents.

And then do share your comments or questions here.

Monday
Jul082013

What entrepreneurial physicians do when life presents lemons

A rare breast lymphoma showing up at age 13 has to be one of life's bigger lemons. Newly minted physician entrepreneur and business owner Sharon McLaughlin MD had to cope with cancer treatment including radiation to her breast and chest wall as she was entering adolescence, followed years later in her early 30s by an elective double mastectomy.

Frustrated over the years by the lack of comfortable yet feminine and even sexy clothing and underwear, this plastic surgeon, who has had experience firsthand and through her patients, decided to step back from her clinical practice and devote time to developing a line of clothing to please cancer and mastectomy women patients ... and their significant others.

In a candid interview (listen here), Sharon shares her very personal story and why she has chosen now to change her career direction and go into business as a cosmetic surgeon and clothing retailer as the proud owner of Courage Couture!

And then please add your comments and thoughts here.