Several Barriers Slow International Physician Entrepreneurship

December 29, 2015

The US isn’t alone in its struggles to build a high-functioning healthcare system. Countries ought to help each other innovate through these challenges, but a number of barriers make such cooperation difficult.

Health systems all over the world, not just in the US, are under stress. They all have to address quality, cost, and access with limited resources. There are many disparities both within countries and across countries. (Here's an example from South Korea.)

Innovation and entrepreneurship have the potential to fix some of these things, but there are significant barriers:

1. Cultures, political systems, and differing approaches to Sick Care and health.

2. Varying definitions of physician entrepreneurship. To some, it means creating companies. To others, it means running a private practice. It should mean creating user-defined value through the deployment of innovation.

3. Fear of political leadership to unleash forces beyond their control.

4. Varying entrepreneurial ecosystems and access to capital.

5 Most doctors around the world don't have an entrepreneurial mindset.

6. Differing medical education systems that frequently are not interoperable.

7. Fear of physician entrepreneurs.

8. Shifting political winds, like the most recent electoral movement from left wing to right wing in Latin America.

9. The emergence of Africa and other developing countries.

10. The aging global population, declining birth rates, and technology stressing the systems.

International physician entrepreneurship will not mean the same thing to all doctors. However, the common thread is to preserve the primary interests of the patient while navigating the treacherous innovation waters in each country.