Should Medical Schools Teach Entrepreneurship?

Medical education is changing. One criticism is that medical students are not getting the business of medicine tools they need to succeed. The present void gets filled by everything from MBA programs to weekend practice management courses. Other note that even business schools should not promote entrepreneurship, so why should medical schools? Here's why:

1. Because entrepreneurship is more than creating a business. It is the pursuit of opportunity with uncontrolled resources with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment of innovation.

2. The skills required overlap with those needed to be a doctor.

3. Entrepreneurship and medicine require an increasingly interdisciplinary perspective.

4. Businesses that lose touch with customers fail. Doctors , both literally and figuratively, run the same risk.

5. Medicine is becoming value based but we don't teach doctors how to create it.

6. Medical students want more options than life long careers in clinical medicine.

7. The pace of biomedical and health innovation is accelerating and requires knowledgable clinicians to participate in the process of value creation.

8. Entrepreneurship is different than practice management. Few doctors have an entrepreneurial mindset.

9. Digital health is in its infancy and needs front line guidance for development, testing, deployment and adoption.

10. Practicing entrepreneurship is another way to help patients and contributes to the core missions of research , education and patient care.

Sick care is sick. The treatment is entrepreneurship, as envisioned, through the deployment of innovation and it should be in every doctor's black bag. We should give them the tools they need to heal the sick system.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at