📁 Doctorpreneurs: Dr Jonathan Wee 📱
What organisation / startup did you found?
What is its noble purpose? To improve patient communication through healthtech.
Tell us about the first 10 years of your life?
I was born and raised in Inner North West Melbourne. I loved tinkering with computers growing up, but somehow I did not pursue computer science at university as I foolishly chose a course which had a higher enter score (now called ATAR score I believe) to get in. The love for playing around with computers has drawn me back in to becoming a self-taught web developer.
What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it? That would probably be a maths tutor at age 16.
What made you want to be a Doctor and what specialty did you choose? Why? It was a pretty silly reason for me, as I sat the GAMSAT during my Biomed days because all my friends were.
I somehow fluked a high score and decided to do a medical degree as I was loving university life and thought being a doctor would get me more pull for research grants in science. It turns out science is really poorly funded and wanted more job security.
I chose General Practice as I like seeing lots of different clinical presentations and problems and it makes for an interesting job. It is also satisfying seeing your regular patients and getting to know them well, sometimes too well!
What made you want to be an Entrepreneur or follow an alternative route? When exactly did you decide?
Right after I finished RACGP training, I had a mid-life crisis thinking, "Is that it? Am I going to practice as a GP the rest of my life without experiencing more?"
So I decided to reduce to working part-time 3-4 days per week with the sole purpose of trying to find a secondary skill that I could combine with medicine. One thing you find as a doctor is that you cannot be too creative. Bad things can happen if you are too much of a "cowboy".
So after trying different things I found that web development was for me as I could be creative and I could work with code and computers. I started creating tools for my clinical practice, and my patients became my guinea pigs for my web apps.
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 practicing as a GP at MC Medical in Docklands 3 days per week.
I am not sure if I will stop just yet, as it it quite useful developing some online features and being able to test it at work the next day. If my project happens to go gangbusters, and I am really needed on it, I might take a break from clinical practice for a few months and decide from there.
Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship? Or at least they are perceived to?
I believe because they do not have time to do it!
Most doctors could not bring themselves to reduce their clinical days as the lost income could be too much for them. Their view might be I could just work the extra day and pay someone to build an app.
But without those extra days free to play around with ideas and get your own hands involved with new projects it makes it difficult to do what it takes to do well in entrepreneurship.
What is your favourite quote?
"When in doubt, just build it".
What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
Pick up my bug out bag, already stocked with freeze dried food (yep, I am a prepper) and head deep into a national park. Oh, and make sure I bring the wife and kids along too.
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