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Lives of Doctor Wives: Married to Medicine

Friday, May 23, 2014

Married to Medicine

Married to Medical Innovation

When I married my husband, I was well aware I was marrying medicine. However, I had no idea I was marrying medical innovation as well.

While doctors and surgeons have differing styles of approaching medicine, I think, we, doctor’s wives would agree our DrHs are very intelligent, focused, and driven men. After all, completing medical school, residency, and fellowship is no simple task.

Like many others who enter into a medical career, my husband dove head first into medical school, residency, fellowship, and now professorship, with the sole intent to save lives and to give patients a better quality of life. He operates through rose-colored loupes.

Yet, making a difference in people lives, one patient at a time, was not fulfilling enough for my husband. His innovative spirit and mind worked even while his body rested, and eventually, after years of dreaming of a new medical technology, he found the right time, resources, and talent before him to bring his innovation to life.

There on our kitchen table, which was technically an outdoor teak picnic table, I stood and witnessed my husband and an engineer map out the medical device they would spend the next five years laboring over during their “free” time.

It was our first start-up, and, as any “first”, there was a hard and furious learning curve.

We learned the patent process. We learned why retaining multiple attorneys was a must. We learned why it was imperative to incorporate in the state of Delaware. We learned all about raising capital, and the difference between founder, preferred, and common stock. We learned the pros and cons of accepting rounds of funding. We learned the internal structure of a Board of Directors. We learned it was okay to stand our ground, and fight for our beliefs.

And, perhaps most importantly, we learned to trust our gut. 

Medical innovation is like medical training; they both require time, effort, focus, drive, and financial support. However, an interesting dichotomy comes to play when the medical doctor, the innovator, mixes together with deep pocket investors.  While they share the common goal of a successful endeavor, they mostly mix like oil and water.

While the doctor is innovating in an effort to better medical technologies to help patients, to make medicine simpler, less invasive, and find cures for hideous diseases, the venture capitalists are working to, well... capitalize on their investments.

It’s understandable. Like the doctor’s job is to cure, the investor’s job is to bring a return on investment. And, preferably, the highest return possible. These investors are educated in business, economics, finances, contracts, and legal-eze. Meanwhile,  doctors are educated in anatomy, histology, neurobiology, etc. There are no business classes within the medical school course catalog.

My doctor husband found himself in strange waters. Many times, he found himself on the opposite side of the table... and he sat there all alone. Medicine on one side of the table and investors on the other. Often times, the two sides did not congeal in agreement, and because the scale tipped in the investors favor, we found our hopes and wishes for the technology and business, being outweighed.

While the innovation aspect of business was thrilling, the business endeavor was a battle; an appreciated battle. Our investors were wonderful teachers, indoctrinating us in the world of biotechnology start-ups.

No longer green, no longer naive, no longer idealistic, but more realistic, and with more business savvy, my DrH continues innovating as I work beside him responsible for the business development, grant writing process, and marketing collateral of our new corporation and fresh, new technology.

Yes, I married medicine, but I married medical innovation as well.

Menée Hill is a freelance content writer and social media coach in her free time. In addition to being a doctor’s wife and CEO of her household, Menée’s strong background in marketing, business development, and real estate have lead her to her current position as a biotech start-up CEO. You can find more of Menée’s doctor wife stories at DoctorsWivesLiving.com . Follow Menée on Twitter.

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Blogger From A Doctors Wife said...

How exciting! Best of luck with your next innovation:-)

May 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM  

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