Doctorpreneurs: Dr Chris Peyton
Doctorpreneurs of Doctology is pleased this week to showcase an interview with Dr Chris Peyton.
Chris is an Emergency Doctor with a somewhat alternative medical career; combining his time in trauma, emergency, and the business world. In addition to being an emergency physician, Chris is the Founder of Ediofy.
What organisation / startup did you found?
Ediofy - my latest venture, AI powered community education platform for health professionals, developed MVP testing it with the Albany Community.
iMeducate - an online exam preparation for emergency doctors, medical students and overseas doctors sitting their AMC exams - has been running for 7 years, steady growth year on year, expanding to other specialities.
Get Better - a home doctor service for Rockingham and Mandurah in Western Australia, founded the company, built it up over a year and then sold it. I was nominated for citizen of the year which was pretty cool.
What is its noble purpose?
With Ediofy we believe that everyone has something to teach whether its your first day in university or the last day of your career. To this end we wanted to design an educational platform that would given everyone in the health industry a voice and allow people to come together through education.
Tell me about the first 10 years of your life?
I grew up in Northern Ireland, Dad was a Trauma Surgeon in the local hospital and my Mum ran different child care organisations from government agencies and the not-for-profit NSPCC.
Our town was in the middle of the "murder triangle". It was as interesting time, as given Dads job we were threatened from time to time by different terrorist organisations but thankfully we were never attacked.
I don't think I was very interesting as a child. I didn't enjoy school that much, too many rules and restrictions. The only sport available was rugby and my PE teacher used to joke I would come off the field cleaner than i went on!
With that in mind I was a little rotund when I was young with an Elton John haircut and front teeth you could kick a football through!
What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it?
My first job was at 15 years old and I was as a waiter at a local restaurant. I was earning 3 pounds an hour ($5.50 AUD) but loved the job and the people I worked with. The boss gave me my first driving lesson in his Mitsubishi GTO. It was about that time I realised I like cars!
What made you want to be a Doctor and what speciality did you choose?
Where I grew up, everyone has somebody close to them that was injured or killed in the troubles. During these times both my parents sacrificed their time and safety to help people they had never met. Growing up in that environment I felt I wanted to be able look after people like they did. The pay is not bad either.
I have a varied medical career and have been a Registrar in a number of specialties including emergency medicine, general surgery, vascular surgery and trauma. I spend all my clinical time in regional emergency departments as a Senior Medical Practitioner. My fellowship however will be through the College of Physician Executives, a relatively new college set up to recognise medical entrepreneurs and doctors in commercial roles.
What made you want to be an Entrepreneur? When exactly did you decide?
I went to New Zealand for a year when I was 18 before university. It was the first time away from home by myself, an amazing experience but I was flat broke for most of it as the school we worked for paid us very little and put quite heavy restrictions on our visas so it was hard finding alternative income streams.
On a flight between Sydney and Auckland I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and following this I decided I didn't want to rely on a job or others to ensure I was able to support myself. With this in mind I started a property company in my first year of medical school with my family, over fifteen years later it continues to grow.
Are you still practicing as a Doctor now? If yes do you intend to stop if your organisation takes off?
I had always worked full time hours as a Doctor while also building different ventures. I have realised as i get older that i cant work full time and give a start up venture the care and attention it needs to be successful, there are simply not enough hours in the day and you have to leave time for a life!
With this in mind I have altered my clinical work to work 1 week a month in emergency while spending the other 3 weeks on ediofy. When this venture is successful I will have to take a prolonged hiatus from clinical work.
Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship?
I suppose there are lots of reasons, some thoughts however:
A risk taking mindset is not encouraged in Medicine - when you deal with peoples' lives taking risks and making mistakes are not tolerated, in contrast being an entrepreneur means you take lots of risk - yes there are calculated but you need to get used to stepping into the unknown. You also have to get used to failure. Yes people say failure is the mother of success but it still hurts, a lot!
Business is not taught in medical school or during your time as a doctor - for most doctors you spend 5/6 years at medical school, 2/3 as a junior doctor and a further 3 to 8 or longer in specialist training.
All your training is focussed on clinical medicine to help you get to the next step in your career and be a better doctor. there is little or no training on how to set up and run a business. Leaving a good career and salary can be hard. After you spend all that time and energy becoming an expert in your field, you finally start earning a good salary, you want a nice house/car/holiday and you may have a family.
When you start a business you really go backwards in terms of the long hours, low salary and sacrifice. Someone once told me contentment is the enemy of innovation, so why would you risk everything if life is good?
What is your favourite quote?
"People don't buy What you do, they buy Why you do it!"
What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
Ha, when I first read this my first thought was, great I get to switch off, no phones, iPads or computers! I guess I would find my wife, my dogs, a boat, as much champagne as I could carry and sail off to a remote island.