Challenge the status quo with the goal can that things can be done better.
Dr. Segun Ishmael has over 20 years of healthcare experience, serving in academic, hospital and insurance settings. He has been residency faculty, hospital department chair (FM and EM), and co-chair of hospital quality improvement, along with having a variety of roles including medical director, vice president medical affairs, and as an interim plan president for multiple national health plans/insurers. Dr. Ishmael has also worked as a family physician (covering everything from deliveries to geriatric care), urgent care and emergency department physician (from inner city high volume to lower volume rural EDs.)
His education includes medical education (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), residency training in family medicine (Gary, IN), academic fellowship (UNC Chapel Hill, NC) and MBA (Purdue, IN). Also, he built his residency program’s first website in 1997.
Dr. Ishmael is now the proud owner of Besafemeds, a new application helping combat STD’s. In this field, discretion and rapid treatment options are important to most people. Besafemeds provides the personal experience where individuals go onto the mobile app put in their symptoms, and then receive a call directly to get treatment bypassing the conventional routes. Many people that show up in the ER or other clinics request some form of treatment before testing results come back. At Besafemeds, our goal is to create a safe and comfortable journey that allows our patients to get the treatment and results they want in a quick and private process.
Where did the idea for Be Safe Meds come from?
Sitting in Vegas after an ER conference and observing people — with the thought that sometimes things don’t stay in Vegas. Also thinking about how inefficient our healthcare system is inefficient.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I work 24-hour shifts because the volume is low at the ER. I have learned from being a faculty member, working in a busy ER (in Gary Indiana) and now even in a much slower environment, that you have to prioritize your time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Always have a pad and pencil at all times or a napkin. Being open to new ideas and identifying problems in either daily life or work. Think of the most eccentric solutions and then whittle it down to a more realistic solution.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Technology growth and advancement. It is scary how quickly we are advancing. I am not sure we can humanly adapt as quickly to the technology advancement. Especially when you think about AI (artificial intelligence).
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Willingness to challenge the status quo or the conventional processes or thoughts.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I have had were two different jobs. Both as part-time Medical Director and worked at both for less than a month. I learned personally I don’t do well with someone micromanaging me. First time was a learning opportunity, second time I realized that people don’t change and certain personalities are better at certain positions.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Definitely would stick strictly to healthcare, I have dabbled in other areas of business. A good friend, much older and wiser recommended I stick to the area or industry I know well and challenge that industry.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Challenge the status quo with the goal can that things can be done better. Recently another wise mentor said, once you get an idea walk through it daily in your mind. Imagine yourself in the process or using the invention and write these out. Quickly you’ll identify the missing pieces.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Perseverance…Walt Disney is known for saying “keep moving forward.”
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
At one time I was a developer, building modular homes in under developed areas. Social goal of developing areas of low growth with new housing. Using modular home technology because of the efficiencies built into the process. Unfortunately, the housing crash occurred.
Just a slow but continued refocusing, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and just persevering.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Spent about a $100 on a box of Legos, the time spent with my kids building these (priceless) and then watching something rise slowly from so many small pieces based upon our efforts was awesome.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Most recently, Jonah Berger’s Invisible Influence. We never realize how our neighbor’s decision, the race makeup of a group, how we like to be different and also we want to be similar, all influence our decisions. Decisions involving purchases, adopting new technology and sometimes even school grades.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Besides family, especially parents, the following is a group of people that think outside the box.
• Richard Branson
• Elon Musk
• Walt Disney
• Malcolm Gladwell
• Matt McCall