Students and faculty who come to HMS are understandably drawn to the vibrant educational and research community on the Quad and in the affiliate hospitals as they strive to improve health care delivery or gain insights into health and disease.
To have an even greater impact, says Krishna Yeshwant ’09, they need to forge partnerships beyond Harvard’s walls. That means reaching out to the business world that’s flourishing just one email or T ride away.
Yeshwant, who earned an MD-MBA at Harvard, wants to encourage others to do just that. In September 2014, he was appointed special advisor on entrepreneurship to HMS Dean Jeffrey S. Flier.
“HMS has an amazingly talented group of people who are passionate about improving the system. They recognize that this is a rich ecosystem, but often don’t know how to tap into it,” says Yeshwant, an HMS instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a general partner at Google Ventures.
Yeshwant sees two main tasks in his advisory role: connecting HMS faculty and students with “the rest of the ecosystem here in Boston and across the country” and providing a context for what’s possible when the worlds of medicine and entrepreneurship are combined.
It’s no secret that medicine and biomedical research are undergoing rapid change, from the rise of sequencing and fabrication technologies to revisiting, even redefining, the doctor-patient interaction.
“Anytime you have such major shifts, there are a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities,” says Yeshwant. “To take advantage of such opportunities, you need to connect with people who have the right skill sets.”
Yeshwant is doing his part as an alumnus who has pursued an entrepreneurial career path and returned to HMS to serve as a role model for students and faculty. He wants to demonstrate to others that “there are many dimensions to what people can do with their skill sets after medical school.”
“Alumni who straddle the line between health care and entrepreneurship may be among the first to recognize the next wave of innovation,” he says. “Connecting them with other alumni will give them the support they need to go off and explore this flourishing sector.”
The student body has already shown great interest. When students signed up for Yeshwant’s office hours—on Fridays after his clinic appointments—two months’ worth of slots filled in 15 minutes.
Photo: John Soares