Succeed in Business

You may have an idea for a business you’d like to start, perhaps attracted by the prospect of controlling your time and work, chasing extra income, or fulfilling the dream of having an alternate career. Should you try turning your dream into reality—and if so, how?

Philippa Kennealy, MD, MPH, has guided hospitalists and other physicians along this path. She heads The Entrepreneurial MD, a Los Angeles-based coaching service for physicians who want to become more entrepreneurial with their practices or start a side business. She has a unique perspective on how physicians can add a satisfying second career to their practice of medicine. “I myself am a physician-entrepreneur,” says Dr. Kennealy.



Young hospitalists who volunteer for committee work can reap big rewards. “A committee is a good place to demonstrate expertise as you support your statements and positions,” writes Rebecca Parker, MD, attending physician for Centegra Health Systems in Illinois in “A Little Committee Work Goes a Long Way” published online by the American College of Emergency Physicians. “You can learn a lot in the process … and it also enhances your credibility,” she writes.

Conflict Resolution

Hospitalist leaders must resolve conflict between staff and/or fellow physicians. In his article “Comm­unication Skills Predict Success,” in Physician Executive, George Linney says it’s critical to be able to listen impartially to all sides, help forge win-win solutions, and know when to say, “I have decided.” For example, if physicians are at odds over whether senior members should take less, or no, after-hours call, a resolution might let senior physicians pay younger physicians to take extra call.—JJ

Why Increase Workloads?

What makes busy hospitalists seek a side business? Why overload your schedule with the extra hours and responsibilities of running a business?

“It’s an opportunity to do something that feels creative, that gives you control,” explains Dr. Kennealy. “I feel that physicians don’t get to use creativity, and they don’t have much control. Their daily actions and decisions are quite regulated. Owning their own time is attractive to physicians. Hospitalists in particular are at it all day in the hospital.”

Is it really possible to continue to work as a hospitalist while shaping a second business? Yes—and others have done it.

“A lot of physicians dream of [entrepreneurship] but feel trapped by their existing time commitments,” says Dr. Kennealy. “But there are some who take the necessary steps, who carve out the time to do it. Many of them hook up with someone to form a partnership—often this is with a non-physician.”

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