In this Q&A blog post interview, you will learn about Dr. Sam Ko’s thoughts on the startup culture, how to start your own business, and some tips/strategies based from his experiences. If you’re a physician planning to create a startup business, this blog post might be helpful for you!
Sam Ko, MD is a Dr. Samuel Ko is a Board Certified Emergency Physician and medical director of ResetKetamine.com.
A Physician Entrepreneur’s Perspective About the Startup Culture
1. Please tell us a bit about your personal story, growing up, and medical training.
2. What motivated you to start building a ketamine clinic? Were you invested in the startup culture?
After graduating from EM residency, I came across a research article about ketamine as a rapid treatment for depression. I saw all the patients in my ED with suicidal ideation and depression and how little benefits they were seeing even with all the medications they were on. However since it’s not standard of care in the ED, I felt an inner drive and purpose to start a ketamine clinic in my area.
I also believe the ideal career can be found at the intersection between what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. This concept is known as ikigai in Japan.
As far as startup culture, I feel like it’s always been in my DNA. I helped my parents at their restaurant and sold items on eBay while growing up. Also, I’ve always wanted to be the captain of my own ship. Naturally, I have an ownership mentality rather than an employee mindset.
It seems that physicians have given up a lot of autonomy as we become employees of large health care systems, which doesn’t resonate with my personality. I prefer to make decisions and execute, rather than appeal to a committee, supervisor, or hold another meeting to discuss it further.
About Reset Ketamine
3. What is Reset Ketamine’s unique value proposition? Tell us the story behind its creation.
Reset Ketamine’s mission is to offer a rapidly effective treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain using a biopsychosocial, holistic approach.
It’s the culmination of all the training I’ve received in my life and a part of my life purpose. Read the full story here.
Challenges and Milestones in Building Your Business | Learning from the Startup Culture
4. Tell us the major challenges you faced when planning for your business venture. How did you manage to become one of the successful and thriving startups?
As an emergency physician, we are not taught the intricacies of private independent practice. Actually the vast majority of doctors are not taught this during their training. Some examples:
- Malpractice coverage
- Where to order supplies and medications
- How to hire the right staff
- How to get paid
- Business insurance
- Negotiating leases
- Setting up corporations and accounts
- And much, much more.
It took a lot of time, research, and leg work to figure out what I would need to make this happen. I think having others who have done this before and getting guidance was important. But the biggest key was perseverance and shifting my mindset about the startup. Here’s a link to get a checklist on the steps needed to start your own clinic.
5. Favorite books that focuses on the startup culture
6. Favorite physician entrepreneurs who you think were influenced by the startup culture
7. Favorite Quotes
- “Who you are is God’s gift to you; what you become is your gift to God.” ~Anonymous
- “Take charge of your life or someone else will.” ~Herman Millman
- “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” ~Warren Buffett
What You Learned About the Startup Culture
Tips for Physician Entrepreneurs | Lessons from the Startup Culture
8. Please share any key advice you have for budding physician entrepreneurs, specifically for those who also want to start their own business. Could you share some of the things you learned from the start up culture?
The key is to think big, yet keep your expenses low. Also seek out help from those who have done it already. Success leaves clues.
You have to take a risk in life because you don’t want to have regrets later. Physicians are an incredibly talented group who get to be creative and take back their power.
9. This is an open ended question. Please feel free to share your closing thoughts.
You are the author of your life. If you’re not happy with your current situation, it’s your responsibility to make a change. I’d love for other doctors to wake up and gain their independence.
Now, I’m working on an online course that teaches physicians how to start up their own ketamine clinic. Please check out www.ketaminestartup.com
10. What is the best way for physicians to get in touch with you?
Email me: info at resetketamine dot com
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