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Making the leap from physician to entrepreneur

Deanna Pogorelc

Despite how different the everyday lives of medical practitioners and healthcare business owners may seem, some of the fundamentals of these two career paths aren’t all that different.

So says Dr. Jen Dyer, an endocrinologist who became an entrepreneur when she launched the EndoGoddess app for diabetes management with Duet Health in September 2011. The app allows diabetes patients to record glucose levels and insulin doses, keep track of various types of insulin, set blood testing reminders and record medical appointments while earning reward points in the process.

In this interview with the Family Medicine Rocks radio show, Dyer explains how she knew it was time to transition into becoming an entrepreneur when she grew frustrated with the slow pace of the academic research setting but had an idea that really excited her. “It’s something that was kind of burning in me for awhile,” she says. “I took a leap of faith…and made a lot of financial changes.”

She felt comfortable leaving her practice because she had an idea that she knew she needed to get into the hands of her patients because it would help them manage their diabetes. Although she admits she misses seeing patients, she is still helping them with the product. Plus, she is trying to see patients part-time at a local clinic, so that can be an option for physicians who miss that aspect of the career.

Aside from helping patients, the way entrepreneurs and scientific researchers must support themselves is similar. “A lot of the way that I feel is exactly the way it felt as an academic researcher – trying to get funding to secure your salary with your research and getting grants,” she says. “When you’re a researcher, you only know what your existence is year-to-year and you’re running a business by supporting the salary of the people that work in your lab. It’s ironic that it really doesn’t feel very different.”

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