How can med-tech startups better harness the talent of clinicians and why this should be a priority
As a practicing portfolio GP working 3 days a week in primary care and also serves as the Chief Clinical Officer of Bionabu which is empowering fellow clinicians and other stakeholders in med-tech to find validated experts and collaborate, I have a vested interest in seeing clinicians and Med-Tech startups have a more productive and mutually beneficial relationship.
Recently, at Med-Tech World Summit in Malta on the SomX stage, I had an interesting debate with a fellow panelist on the role clinicians should play in Med-Tech startups. He felt that clinicians should pivot fully out of clinical practice if they are to be of any real value in the hard slog required to succeed in the Med-Tech startup world. I felt on the contrary, that, while this may well be the right path for some, many clinicians are either not willing or not ready to completely leave clinical practice behind to join a startup team.
I believe that Med-Tech companies need clinician talent in their core team to ensure the products and services they build and implement are solutions to real clinical problems and will serve the needs of real patients.
I also believe that clinicians who have a portfolio approach to their career including active clinical practice, offer clinical intuitions that are up-to-date and "real world tested", which are optimum for informing the development of Med-Tech solutions for patient care.
Alas we have a conundrum, because majority of the clinical roles that startups advertise for require a full-time commitment which invariably makes maintaining consistent clinical practice very challenging and near impossible.
I believe startups should consider it advantageous to offer more flexible roles to clinical talent that empowers them as business leaders but also as current, practicing, revalidated clinicians.
What does the industry stand to gain from making it more flexible and accessible to working clinicians?
I think this increased flexibility will widen the talent pool of clinicians able and willing to contribute to our vibrant and growing industry.
I believe there are more clinicians like me who would be willing to work in med-tech if they didn't feel it was a liability to their clinical practice and maintaining revalidation.
If things remain the same we risk:
Less clinicians being able or willing to contribute their tested and up-to-date clinical expertise in med-tech, leaving only clinicians who have either quit clinical practice or are retired being able to contribute. I think this is a disservice to both medtech startups and the potential patients they hoped to serve.
So how can we turn the tide?
Well I hope we can get some data on recent clinical jobs adverts/recruitment in medtech to evaluate the current status quo of job flexibility to determine broadly we are. We could then start a dialogue to see what startup founders are looking for in prospective clinical hires and ways we can mutually address the needs of both parties.