The Entrepreneurial MD for Women

Finding the balance between medicine and business
Philippa Kennealy is President and founder of The Entrepreneurial MD. She is a business advisor, coach and teacher to physicians grappling with the challenges of launching, building or growing their own successful practices or businesses.

She is a board-certified Family Physician who left her own private practice in 1996 to embark on an administrative career as first Medical Director and then CEO of UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center. Subsequently, she served as Executive VP in two internet start-up companies, before launching her first coaching and speaking business, Oya Consulting.

Philippa is passionate about professional development for physicians that permits them to reinvigorate their careers and overcome burnout. As reported to her repeatedly, physicians long for more control over their lives. She believes that entrepreneurship is one way to reintroduce physicians to their own creativity and resourcefulness. Her experience of working with physicians has shown her that, with encouragement, a belief in their own abilities, and a pragmatic approach, they are highly capable of making their inventive ideas a reality. They are, after all, a hard-working, dedicated, smart group of people!

Back-to-business model and plan basics for entrepreneurial physicians

Wow, I guess I really did take the summer off from blogging. I didn't realize it had been a good two months since I last wrote. I was, however, prompted to put my thoughts together when I received an email responding to my "What is the biggest question you are struggling with at present?" inquiry. The physician wrote "my biggest challenge is narrowing down what I would like to do and creating an economic model to support my endeavors" Great observation! And a challenge that I suspect many would-be entrepreneurial physicians face when filled with the urge to start a business. While the questi......
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Medical practice marketing: 5 simple tactics to get you started

Please don't cringe when I mention the words "medical practice marketing". Please stop for a moment and read my words below. I hope to pleasantly surprise you with the realization that what I am about to describe is not used-car salesman tricks. Far from it! No ... I'm asking you to be yourself, show up in a way that you hope anyone you were buying from would show up, and do that exceptionally well!! Marketing isn't Selling. You are not going to push any creams or vitamins or extra procedures on any unsuspecting patient. Medical practice marketing is, to paraphrase Wikipedia: ... the process......
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Preventing physician burnout - is there a secret recipe? Part 2

Preventing physician burnout Part 1 touched on an increased in pessimism amongst physicians in the United States about the practice of medicine, as well as what's happening inside our brains as we near professional burnout. Now it's time to explore ways to forestall this deadly mental, emotional and physical condition. I have 3 short tips for you today: 1. Do unto yourself as you are preaching to others How often does the irony of your physician counsel to patients strike you? There you sit (or stand, if you're a doctor in a rush) advising patients on exercise, healthy eating, and overall h......
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"The Practicing Mind" -- a primer for physician happiness?

As a recent attendee at the Creativity and Personal Mastery program (CPM) that I have previously written about, I was tickled to receive and read a review copy of "The Practicing Mind" (A) by Thomas Sterner. His book is an active reminder of the value I derived from the program, as it echoes much of the content. It's also foretells the huge payoffs that come with learning how to "practice". What does "practice" really mean? If I were to focus on the intended outcome of this article, I would be thinking about and worrying whether you were going to read it, and how you might act upon it for you......
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Preventing physician burnout - is there a secret recipe? Part 1

The recently published Medscape's Physician Lifestyle Report: 2012 starts to tell the story of what it is to be a physician in the US today, beginning with an overall "happiness" rating.   Approximately 1 in 3 physicians -- both men and women -- rated themselves a 5 and 40% rated themselves a 4 (suggesting "pretty happy"). The average happiness score for physicians who responded was 3.96, which is on the cheerful side but not overwhelmingly happy. When looking at happiness ratings by specialist, the 5 happiest were rheumatologists (4.09), dermatologists (4.05), urologists (4.04), oph......
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Could Your Medical Knowledge Be Turned Into Copywriting?

It's easy to see why so many physicians contemplating a non-clinical business or career change feel a sense of nervous excitement and apprehension about branching out on their own. After all, you've put a ton of time into becoming this highly-trained professional, and being a doctor could be all you've ever known. Starting your own non-clinical business can be a nerve-wracking experience. Perhaps you're wanting to get out of clinical practice but are still looking for that "perfect" business idea to take to the next level. Thankfully, there are many non-clinical career options that will not o......
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Use the power of the visual to communicate with your audience

Decoding Your Medical BillsI get sent a lot of content, aimed at physicians, to potentially post on The Entrepreneurial MD Blog and most of it is irrelevant or way too cheesy for the likes of you, dear reader. Once in a while however, something piques my interest as it is thoughtful or provocative. This time it's an "infographic" (contemporary lingo for cool images that are designed to convey information quickly) that caught my eye. The information is largely "duh" for most of my physician readers (although I found some of it interesting) but I offer it to you as a way to stimulate your thinking about the ways in which ......
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Networking your way efficiently to a new non-clinical position

I recently received this communication via my other website (Women Leaving Medicine) and thought it pointed enough of a question and commentary that I decided to share a portion of it and my response with you. “I am the primary bread winner in our family.  We have two boys - 3 and 1.  My husband is going back to school for his Masters while he also juggles being the primary care giver for our boys.  I left emergency medicine almost three years ago and did a preceptorship in treating a disease that is medical as well as cosmetic. I now work for a big corporation and the job allows me to be ho......
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Simple SEO strategies are needed for your physician business website

How much business does your physician business website deliver to your door? Do you even know? My first website was admired for its good looks but I can't honestly claim it ever drove a single client to my doorstep. Now, whereas I kinda like how The Entrepreneurial MD looks, that isn't what matters to me any more. How it performs as a relationship- and business-building tool is what really counts. The reason I value this so much is that marketing can be very expensive. Ads, booths at health fairs or conferences, 4-color brochures, even traveling to places to give speaking presentations f......
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Can introverted physicians succeed at networking for success?

When asked about my circuitous physician career and how I have made it happen, I can probably best describe my "strategy" as "opportunistic". What I really mean is that I have always come up short on having a 10-year career plan (it must be the Aquarian in me who rebels against too much structure), and instead have followed my nose and instincts for opportunities that have presented themselves over the years. And no, those opportunities are not just the result of sheer good fortune, although I do feel fortunate. They have arisen as an outgrowth of my ongoing efforts to build and mainta......
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The physician business owner and healthcare reform

What do you really know about healthcare reform? And do you even care? The past few years have thrust healthcare into the limelight, with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA) in March 2010. And confusion has reigned ever since. Once in a while, I come across good explanations that attempt to demystify the PPACA. As much as I'd like to be an ostrich with my head in the sand, mainly to escape the rancor and fury of those decrying the Act and the cries of those begging for meaningful change, I can't escape its impact on my clientele and readers. For ......
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Secrets to greeting the New Year from a physician business owner

For most of us physician business owners, the beginning of a year is a time filled with hope and intention. "It's going to be a(n even) better year. I’m going to be better at X, Y and Z"! we tell ourselves. I mentioned previously that I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I have discovered them to be grandiose and difficult to achieve, leading to a sense of failure and self-flagellation when we fall short and find ourselves back to square one a month or so later. What, if instead of focusing on these "ideal" outcomes, we paid more attention to the process... the journey? How would......
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A roadmap to creative thinking for the entrepreneurial physician

As someone who was educated in a very traditional school and then university model, I am envious of my 9-year old daughter's learning opportunity in 3rd grade. Her new school emphasizes project-based learning, social-emotional learning (higher EQ and therefore fewer therapy bills later in life???), group collaboration and multiple path problem-solving, as opposed to the largely unquestioning rote learning I endured. My latest mid-life crisis is manifesting as a quest to foster my own creativity and overcome the inhibitions of my earlier learning experience - reshape my neural pathways......
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As a physician business owner, how will you define success?

When I coach entrepreneurial physician clients, one of the questions I often pose is "How will you define your success?" Obviously, this question requires considerable introspection, even though the most obvious answer upfront tends to be "When the business is up and running, and I'm making good money." The 10th and final Rule of successful entrepreneurship in Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur" addresses similar questions - Play the game for life. Yes, success can be measured by the amount of money a business makes, or puts in the owner's pocket. But for most successful entreprene......
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The results of an entrepreneurial physician depend on one "must-have" mindset

In all the years of interviewing successful physician entrepreneurs for my Conversations with Trailblazers podcasts, there is one consistent piece of advice that physicians have shared, and this belongs to Bill Murphy Jr's Rule Number 8 in "The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How 3 Harvard Business School graduates learned the 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship". Persist, persevere, prevail. In fact, Chapter 20 of the book opens with this reinforcing quote from President Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than un......
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The contemporary career map of an entrepreneurial physician

I am a big believer in evolution. Of the world, of the human being over the span of a life, of a professional career. As a current entrepreneurial physician and business owner, with a zig zagging career spanning more than 25 years, I'm acutely aware that to thrive, I must evolve. When I was a kid, our family doctor was a crusty, opinionated, spry man who loved his patients and who'd given his life to his general practice. I recall him sitting at my brother's bedside for an entire night during an attack of croup, ready to do a tracheotomy if needed... as he later confided to my mom. He......
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Sales expertise is a must have for entrepreneurial physicians

I can feel the collective shudder from all you physician entrepreneur wannabes at the mere mention of the word "sales". Personal experience has taught me just how uncomfortable marketing and sales are for physicians, and for most professionals in general. And yet, if you want to succeed in business as an entrepreneurial physician, you must learn to sell! There, I've said that dirty word. Rule 8 of Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How 3 Harvard Business School graduates learned the 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship" is Learn To Sell. In fact, Murphy feels so strongly......
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Five attitudes to achieving physician satisfaction

I began participating in Professor Rao's three-month Creativity and Personal Mastery program last weekend and, even now, I find my mind drifting back to the deep, insightful conversations our small group engaged in. Our focus was happiness – what is it? Where does it come from? And how can we create it for ourselves? The underlying question we were grappling with is "How can we live a life of joy in the face of all the stresses of our everyday existences?" Pretty heavy stuff – hey? Since I derived so much value from the discussion, I decided to share some of our insights with you. If you t......
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For happiness at your physician business try the five ways to wellbeing

I was inspired to create this post title by a new article that came out in the online Harvard Business Review today – "Happiness and Your Company." By now, my readers know of my fascination with the topic of what makes humans happy and specifically what makes physicians happy at work! This seems an especially relevant topic, given that all indicators suggest rising unhappiness in the physician workplace. What is particularly interesting to note is how governments and nations are beginning to recognize the economic significance and impact of happiness and well-being at work. This perspec......
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Change for physicians: eating the elephant one spoon at a time

As a physician who has been through multiple personal and professional changes, I have learned to tackle the immensity of big change just like the old joke, "How do you eat an elephant? One spoon at a time." Even now, as uncertainty swirls in the air with a wildly bucking stock market, talk of a double-dip recession, and the ever-looming threat of healthcare reform, I recognize my own business needs to adapt to circumstances and to undergo yet more change. So, rather than sitting by idly with my fingers crossed and hoping for the best, I am scanning the horizon for new opportunities... Wh......
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