The culture of medicine and medical education is about diplomas on the wall and letters after your name. We are trained and expected to sequentially check off the next box during residency, fellowship, practice or in the pursuit of postgraduate degrees, like MBAs or MPHs.
Credentialitis, in my view, is getting in the way of physicians participating in biomedical and clinical innovation because:
1. They believe they are incapable of adding patient defined value unless they get another ticket punched
2. They are embarrassed in front of their peers and are used to using credentials to demonstrate implied competency
3. They don't know what they don't know about physician entrepreneurship and are afraid to admit it.
4. They are scared that progress and technology is passing them by and the most comfortable way to be part of the parade is to get another degree.
5. They continue to focus on solutions and processes instead of understanding patient customer problems and the market pain.
6. Medical educators have left them in dark and graduates grasp for the most familiar straws
7. They have a hard time finding mentors willing to help
8. There are few champions that can serve as role models
9. They don't understand that physician entrepreneurship is ultimately about creating patient defined value, not companies
10. They don't take the time to ask themselves why they want to do what they think they want to do.
Success in entrepreneurship is not about degrees and credentials. The sooner docs get that, the sooner we can get them in the game to make a difference.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org