Why more physicians should enter industry

Attend any biotech or health informatics conference and one thing becomes clear: the scarcity of physicians. Entrepreneurs, businessmen, angel investors, and software engineers swarm these conferences — and their encompassing companies — all the while the imperative persona in this realm remains tied up behind a dysfunctional EHR or in an overbooked operating room. Why?

Certainly, inculcating these dynamic players in the health care space is integral to the successful evolvement of the American health care system. Software engineers brilliantly bring forth their skills for analytics, mechanical engineers ensure products are built with viability and strength, and business acumen ensures successful market access. Nonetheless, the sheer lack of medical doctors involved in these companies is troubling.

The basic premise of any medical company is to solve a clinical need in the most efficient manner. To whom shall we turn to for the most in-depth view of these needs? The physician. No singular entity in this ecosystem knows more about current clinical needs than the clinician herself. In consulting for companies working on projects in surgery, oncology, neuroimaging and more, I consistently find that the entire company consists of everything but a physician. We need a clinical voice in this orchestra.

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