Clinical Practice Innovation and Entrepreneurship


The Clinical Practice Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CPI&E) Track is designed to increase the interest, understanding, and capabilities of medical students in practice innovation and entrepreneurship.

Broadly, clinical practice innovation refers to the process of effectively conceptualizing, implementing and studying ways to improve the healthcare delivery at the bedside and also the broader health care delivery system.  Entrepreneurship is the ability and willingness to develop, organize, source and manage a business venture for commercial purposes.  The survival of the 21st century physician will require the ability to adapt and change practice as new payment and delivery system models are developed and implemented, particularly changes that will occur with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.  Many physicians may also choose to innovate and commercialize their ideas as some practice innovations may ultimately be viable businesses.  These skill sets will allow more opportunity for the practice of medicine as we transition into this new health care environment. 


Program Objectives

  • To gain a broad understanding of the concepts of practice innovation – including approaches to assessing gaps in quality, quality improvement, and what is required to build sustainable improvements over time.
  • To gain knowledge in the concepts of entrepreneurship and understand what it takes to develop, organize, manage and source a successful business venture.   
  • To identify and participate in a wide variety of opportunities aimed at improving the understanding and practice of these concepts.
  • To develop analytic capabilities to be able to conceptualize practice innovations, and a basic understanding of the process of how and when to potentially commercialize an idea.


Program Activities

  Required First & Second Year

  • Attend lecture series
  • Participate in an Experiential Opportunity in the Summer following first year
    • Students must submit a project proposal including scope of work, a timeline, objectives/goals, and the organization/mentor with which the student will be working, including contact information.
    • After project completion, students are required to submit a 4-6 page reflection paper to include the student’s project scope, the role the student played in the project, how the project changed from the original proposal, and reflections on the experience.


Lecture Series
  Topic Areas for Years I & II

  • Overview of Clinical Practice Innovation
  • Clinical Practice Innovation and the Affordable Care Act
  • Clinical Practice Innovation: Specific Methodological Approaches
  • Leadership Series in Practice Innovation: 2-3 lectures by local practice leaders to discuss how they innovate and sustain practice innovation
  • Overview of Entrepreneurship
  • How to Start a Successful Business 
  • Case Studies: examples of successful business both inside and outside medicine
  • Leadership Series in Entrepreneurship: lectures of local business leaders outlining how their ideas ultimately became a successful business venture


Experiential Opportunities
  Summer Internships/Senior Elective Host Sites

  • Office for Clinical Practice Innovation in SMHS
  • GW Office for Technology Transfer
  • GW Hospital Quality Department
  • Specific faculty/Departments engaged in quality improvement within GW
  • GW Office of Entrepreneurship
  • GW School of Business
  • GW Business Plan Competition
  • Specific faculty/entities engaged in quality improvement outside of GW (i.e. Delmarva Foundation, National Quality Forum, Unity Clinics)
  • Specific entities engaged in entrepreneurship outside of GW (i.e. Federal Government, DC Government, large corporations, small businesses)


Other Opportunities in First & Second Year

  • Attend additional local coursework related to practice innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Attend additional seminars in the local community/federal government related to practice innovation and entrepreneurship


Required Third & Fourth Year

  • Scholarly Project will be related to track of study
  • Clinical Practice Innovation or Entrepreneurship Elective (4-6 weeks)


CPI&E Elective (IDIS 366)

This senior elective will serve to further develop the participant’s skills in clinical practice innovation, quality improvement and/or entrepreneurship. Students must participate in a project pertaining to one of these areas for a minimum of 4-weeks.

Due to the nature of experiences in these domains, it is expected that activities related to this elective may have begun earlier and may extend throughout the senior year. Students should identify a mentor (or organization with a specific contact individual) for their project and have a signed agreement (to be provided). Students must receive approval of their elective in advance by the Scholarly Concentration Directors.

The participant is evaluated on the basis of attendance at all required activities as determined by the mentor, feedback from the mentor, and the preparation of a paper (10 pages, double-spaced minimum describing the experience OR a submission for a peer-reviewed journal). A manuscript that has been submitted and accepted for publication may meet the Scholarly Project and 4th year elective requirements (requires approval from the Track Directors).

Evaluation Method: Mentor (subjective) evaluations; submission of paper


*Other educational opportunities and activities to enrich students’ experiences may be added to the curriculum during the program, per the discretion of the Scholarly Concentration Directors.