The 4 Phases of Physician Entrepreneurship Development

Physician entrepreneurship describes the pursuit of opportunity using scarce resources with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment and harvesting of biomedical and care innovation. Clinicians are becoming interested for many reasons and they characteristically go through defined stages of their physician entrepreneurship career progression.

Stage 1: Aware but Clueless

At the beginning, they don't know what they don't know but are intrigued and curious by the possibilities. They seek out resources, connect with potential mentors and networks and start reading and learing more about what others are doing. They look for champions and examples that connect.

Stage 2: Interested but Seeking Answers

They are more aware and beginning to understand the questions, but they are still looking for answers, usually to 2 quesions: 1) What do I do next? and 2) Where do I find the money? They start to do the cost-benefit of pursuing entrepreneurial ventures and calculate the associated opportunity and switching costs of doing so.

Stage 3: Hooked but Harmless

They start tinkering, playing with ideas, engaging their innerpreneur and being creative to test how it feels. 

Stage 4: Engaged and Excited

They have move from attention to awareness to decision to action. They begin to follow the Life Science Innovation Roadmap and start the journey.

The process is predictable but can stall at any stage. Recidivism is common. Anxiety is a frequent symptom of the disease along with other entrepreneurial psychopathologies. For those who evolve, however, the satisfactions and rewards are big.

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