by Jason Duprat, founder of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy
Healthcare is traditionally seen as one of the most financially stable industries to find a job in — after all, there will always be a need for doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses. However, recent years have allowed healthcare workers to pull back the curtain on an industry that many feel is exploiting them, at times.
The average salary for someone working in the healthcare industry right now is around $63,000 a year, but the truth is that most of their jobs aren’t 40-hour 9-to-5 jobs. In fact, one recent survey found that, on average, many in healthcare work closer to 50 hours a week, with physicians, in particular, working closer to 60 hours each week.
The unseen challenges of working in healthcare
Ask almost anyone in the healthcare industry, and they will tell you they are overworked and underpaid. Many work overtime week after week, putting their health at risk every time they go to work — especially given that we are still battling a global pandemic. Overall, healthcare workers are often not paid enough for the level of risk that they experience daily.
Burnout is a prevalent problem in the healthcare industry, particularly in the past few years, as healthcare workers have had to deal with the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the system. For the most part, any job in healthcare can be filled with long, fast-paced, and emotionally intense days. As a result, the pressure can quickly cause workers to feel overwhelmed.
The issue of career stagnation is also one that weighs heavily on healthcare professionals. Although there are several high-paying careers in the healthcare industry, physicians and other healthcare professionals often reach a level where they can not further advance their careers unless they pursue additional advanced degrees or start their own practice or business.
Like many highly specialized degrees, healthcare education doesn’t focus heavily on the skills needed to run a business, only the skills needed to be a medical practitioner. But with so many medical professionals opting to start their own practices, rather than continue in a corporate healthcare environment, it is more important than ever for healthcare professionals to learn the entrepreneurial skills necessary to run their own businesses successfully.
Many healthcare workers trying to advance their careers after a period of stagnation in a corporate environment have turned to independent training programs. The courses offered by these programs center around helping healthcare workers forge their own path in the industry. Because of the lack of formal business education while pursuing healthcare degrees, some may feel intimidated by the notion of becoming a healthcare entrepreneur. However, there is now training and resources available to healthcare professionals to help them kick-start their journey into entrepreneurship.
The future is healthcare entrepreneurship
Healthcare entrepreneurship is an excellent opportunity for professionals to supplement — or even exceed — their income from a corporate position. Many healthcare professionals working at a high level in the corporate system have started their own practices, splitting their time between serving as an on-duty physician, nurse practitioner, or physician associate in a hospital and seeing patients in their own practices to earn additional income.
An entirely novel healthcare industry is forming around these healthcare entrepreneurs. These days, it isn’t just family practices or corporate healthcare — several professionals are beginning to focus on more specialized forms of medicine, such as ketamine therapy or IV nutritional therapy, that allow them to offer their patients a highly specific form of care.
These specialized practices allow healthcare professionals to use their existing knowledge and skills in different and unique ways. Many of these newly-developing fields of medicine use the same approach providers have used for years, but apply them through newer, innovative approaches. Yet, more often than not, there is little room for these cutting-edge methods in the corporate world, leaving it up to professionals to start their own businesses in order to push these new developments forward.
The future of healthcare is not providers working for large corporate entities — it is them forging their own path and becoming healthcare entrepreneurs in their own right. The freedom that comes with being one’s own boss will allow healthcare professionals to practice these more innovative forms of medicine and be much more prosperous in the long run.
Jason A. Duprat MBA, MSA, APRN, CRNA is a nurse anesthetist and former naval officer, turned serial entrepreneur who has a formative background in private practice startups, business technology, and healthcare marketing. He is Founder of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy and Ketamine Academy, and the Co-founder of the IV Therapy Academy. Jason is the creator and host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy Podcast.