The landscape for physicians to explore entrepreneurship is both exciting and intimidating. Healthcare professionals by nature are adept at problem solving and rely on creativity blended with insight to influence the direction of patients’ lives. This skill set is perfectly positioned to put physicians at the forefront of the entrepreneurial engine.
Surrounding oneself with high achievers, innovators, and explorers at conferences not only energizes but also provides insight, opportunity and fosters partnerships. Sometimes, it’s just being around others on the same journey that provides the motivation to take a risk and step onto the entrepreneurial path.
The following are a few suggestions for conferences that have the potential to alter the trajectory of your career and life. Physicians may be reluctant to engage with such a diverse and experienced crowd, but the insights and connections from attending even one conference this year have the power to reshape your future.
World Domination Summit (WDS)
Drawing people from around the world, WDS exposes attendees to radical ideas and transformative thinking while fostering connections between participants. Set in Portland during the summer, the conference features main stage speakers combined with small group sessions and breakout learning opportunities. At times, WDS attendees have been part of world record-setting events. I had the chance to be part of the group that set a new Guinness World Record in 2014. The creator of WDS, Chris Guillebeau, is a New York Times best-selling author and draws a community of game changers to this conference, now in its 8th year. The conference focuses on the themes found in several of his books such as, The Art Of Non-Conformity, Born For This, and The Happiness Of Pursuit.
New York, May 9-11
99U talent has produced a number of essential reads for would-be entrepreneurs, but their conference takes things to a whole new level. The mission of the 99U conference is to inspire creative entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life and reshape the future. Over two days, mainstage presentations by the world’s top thinkers inspire and provide insights to attendees. Breakout sessions explore innovative companies around NYC, and expert-led workshops allow a small group setting to acquire new skills and explore opportunities. 99U promises to deliver a toolbox, helping attendees turn ideas into reality.
SXSW (South by Southwest)
While this conference has nothing to do with medicine and healthcare, it must be on the short list of must-attend conferences. Drawing a diverse audience across all industries, SXSW creates a melting pot of entrepreneurs, innovators, disruptors, creatives, and influencers. Attendees can choose from a variety of tracts, including start-up and tech, news and journalism, brands and marketing, making film and episodics, and many others. SXSW celebrates the creative experience and fosters an atmosphere for discovery and inspiration.
Social Media Week (SMW)
New York, New York
SMW boasts an impressive reach, citing events in 22 cities around the world with over 75,000 attendees and 10,000 speakers. Don’t let the statistics overwhelm you, as the mission is to provide professionals opportunity, insight and ideas designed to advance connection with a global audience. Physicians are ideally positioned to deliver valuable content across social media platforms to educate, entertain and effect positive change in the healthcare sector. SXSW fosters connections for innovation, collaboration, and insight for novel ideas that solve a diverse set of problems.
For physicians considering dipping a toe into the entrepreneurial world, the first step can be the hardest. Conferences provide an ideal medium to test the waters, develop connections, test ideas, and share the unique talents of being a physician in an entrepreneurial way. Once you get started, conference attendance is addictive and has the power to recharge and reshape both your professional career and life.