Unachukwu N. Entrepreneurship and medicine. Presented at: Women in Medicine Summit: Sept. 16-17, 2022; Chicago (hybrid meeting).
Unachukwu reports no relevant financial disclosures.
Entrepreneurial opportunities for physicians are becoming more important than ever, according to a presenter at the Women in Medicine Summit.
Nneka “Una” Unachukwu, MD, FAAP, is the founder and medical director of Ivy League Pediatrics in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
“We’re going to look at the opportunities that we have as physicians to be entrepreneurs, and we’re going to look at entrepreneurship as a critical part of the solution needed in health care,” Unachukwu said during her presentation.
Unachukwu also discussed findings from the 2018 Future of Healthcare survey, which found that seven out of 10 surveyed physicians were unwilling to recommend health care as a profession to friends and family.
“So if you have a million healers, 700,000 of them are saying, ‘Don’t do medicine, it’s not good for you,’” Unachukwu said. “If we think about that, that’s a problem. We have to figure out how to fall in love with medicine again. We’re also going to be walking away with a custom plan to develop your own entrepreneurial journey, whether you’re just starting or whether you are trying to take your business to the next level.”
After reflecting on how the medical landscape has changed since her residency in 2009, Unachukwu explained that the best way for a physician to form an identity as an entrepreneur would be to understand and explore three core concepts: “who you are, what assets you have, and what opportunities are available.”
To address the first concept, Unachukwu recommended that physicians create professional statements defining themselves. To recognize their assets and opportunities, she suggested physicians take stock of their problem-solving abilities, examine their existing network and explore skills and certifications.
Citing her own success in podcasting, Unachukwu also suggested going after business opportunities, including paid speaking, coaching and consulting opportunities, or serving as a media expert, among others.
“While our medical training gives us many advantages we can use to thrive as
entrepreneurs, it is not enough,” Unachukwu said. “The good news, however, is that all business skills are learnable, and we are great at learning.”