This week's Doctorpreneur of doctology is Dr Christopher Sia.
Christopher is a Nephrologist practising in both the public and private sectors with a keen interest for technology. He has a young family with hobbies include singing and playing music.
What organisation / startup did you found?
What is Telecare's noble purpose? Telecare is a bulk billing specialist telehealth company that services vulnerable patient populations with poor access to healthcare (rural Australia and nursing home). We aim to provide timely access to high quality healthcare.
My role involves specialist management and recruitment.
I saw our first patient back in July 2020 and I have seen it grow to over 50 specialists covering over 25 specialities in little over a year.
Tell us about the first 10 years of your life?
I am an Australia born Chinese-Malaysian. My parents immigrated from Malaysia as poor students but managed to be fairly financially comfortable by the time I was born.
What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it? At 18 years old I was a high school tutor.
What made you want to be a Doctor and what specialty did you choose? Why? I have always been attracted to problem solving which is probably why I chose to become a doctor.
Nephrology is a holistic specialty. We get to know our patients incredibly well and walk through the journey of chronic kidney disease, dialysis and transplantation.
It is also a true physician specialty and I think Nephrologists have a pretty good understanding of general medicine. Furthermore it is a speciality that is dominated by numbers and data which appeals to my maths-oriented brain.
What made you want to be an Entrepreneur or follow an alternative route? When exactly did you decide?
I never intended to be an entrepreneur and I am generally a risk averse person. However I saw that Telecare would have a lot of social benefits for the community.
I noted that I was well positioned to do the job that was required and I was interested to challenge myself to explore something different.
Are you still practicing as a Doctor now? If yes, do you intend to stop if the organisation or project takes off?
Yes I am a full time practising nephrologist with public and private hospital appointments. I do not think I will ever stop being a practising nephrologist.
My role with Telecare involves specialist management and recruitment and it is important for me to maintain networks and to stay connected to what is happening on the ground.
Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship? Or at least they are perceived to?
Opportunity cost. We have such secure alternative pathways (being a doctor).
Once you cease being a practising doctor it is hard to restart/reconnect yourself, so stopping medical practice and being a full time entrepreneur is a big risk.
Being a part-time doctor and part-time entrepreneur will stretch your time resources to the maximum.
What is your favourite quote?
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
Hug my family.
You can find out more about Telecare here: