arlen meyers- sope- peerspectrum

Ever come up with an idea for a new medical device or a way to improve a problem area, but you have no idea how or where to go with it? Medical innovation is a massive, multi-billion dollar business. Think you have to start a company yourself or work for the Mayo or Cleveland Clinic? Wrong. Medical innovation is happening in ways and in places you may not have even realized.

Our guest today is Dr. Arlen Meyers. He’s an ENT surgeon and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is an inventor, a former Harvard-Macy fellow, and a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Meyers was  named by Modern Health-care as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in the US. He has experienced both successes and failures with several medical device and digital health start-ups.

Today Dr. Meyers is CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE). This an international medical innovation network with thousands of members worldwide. SoPE provides education, resources and a powerful peer network accessed through local innovation chapters. It’s a pretty cool organization and we’re going to learn all about it. With that said, let’s get started…

Show Notes:

-Medicine and innovation. Dr. Meyers’s path.

-”Entrepreneurial Attending.” Why Dr. Meyers wants to help physician entrepreneurs today.

-The many ways of being a physician entrepreneur. It isn’t just about starting a company.

-Do I really want to start a company myself?

-Having the entrepreneurial mindset.

-Does medical training, and medical school admissions selection, encourage or discourage the entrepreneurial mindset. “Sending fighters to the front with blanks in their rifles.”

-Can entrepreneurship/creativity be taught? Entrepreneurial DNA?

-”You can’t teach someone how to be a surgeon, only how to do surgery.”

-Do innovative ideas always come from the front lines? What does Dr. Meyers think?

-“The confluence of a problem solver and a problem seeker.”

–“Innovation polarized lenses.” Mindset let’s you see the opportunities.

-Are doctors better able to identify medical problems and solutions? What about innovators outside of medicine?

-Selling hospital administration. Dr. Meyers’s advice for dealing effectively with hospital administration and advancing your ideas.

-Does your institution have an “innovation learning system?” How is this different from an “innovation  center.”

-“Patient defined value.” What is the most important value?

-I’m at a smaller community hospital. I’m not in Silicon Valley or the Cleveland Clinic. Do I stand a chance?

-Why Dr. Meyers believes ANYONE can innovate, not matter who you are.

-How can I start a SOPE chapter? If you are willing to, “show up,” SOPE is ready to help you.

-PALs “Partners and alliances.”
Benefits of joining SOPE. Membership directory gives you a huge network connect with. This includes 1300 members and over 26 thousand linked-in followers

-How do I protect my idea? Patent law, intellectual property and legal resources.

-Business education. Is the MD/MBA a good idea? Dr. Meyers has an MD/MBA and helped create one of the first programs in the US,  but that doesn’t mean he thinks you should.

-Involvement in K-12. STEM+Arts= STEAM. How the arts can contribute to creativity and innovation.

-Dr. Meyers’s mentor: Dr. Ben Eiseman:

-Dr. Meyers’s daily habits and routines. “Habitology.”

-How practice and repetition relate to neuroscience.

-Write every day.

Links and more:


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