Entrepreneur François Pelen (Point Vision), entrepreneur doctor

François Pelen (Point Vision), entrepreneur doctor

She’s there. The dreaded second wave of Covid-19 is starting to put hospitals under pressure. Already 57% of nurses report burnout, and Francois Pelen is desperate that city medicine seems to be ignored in the management of the crisis.


In the city, he is the chairman of the supervisory board and the co-founder of Point Vision, a network of ophthalmology centers launched in 2012. But he is first and foremost a doctor, a graduate of HEC, and has just published a book called “ Health crisis: why almost everything needs to be changed “(Le Cherche Midi). He details in the menu his arguments in favor of a doctor-entrepreneur able to emancipate ” technocratic habits “And enter” at the same level in the economic world for the benefit of patients. “What offend the Order of Physicians, which fears that doctors can register in a commercial approach.

Switch to the 21st century

However, in the opinion of the 63-year-old Parisian, converting medical practices to “customer-oriented” strategies and providing management courses in the faculty of medicine is not incongruous. On the contrary, it would help to switch into the XXIe century “A health system whose limits are highlighted in the time of the coronavirus”. “The model, proven in ophthalmology with Point Vision, consists of pooling resources and purchases, and delegating certain acts to paramedics, so as to free the doctor from technical and administrative tasks. It can be transposed to other specialties ”, hammers the leader, hair salt and pepper, mask screwed on a malicious smile. While keeping, he assures, the patient at the top of the priorities.

Son of a stay-at-home mother and a father, an arms engineer who, due to secrecy, could not tackle his sonar and torpedo projects during family meals, François Pelen very early on wished to focus on an activity “In the service of others”. “Correct pupil, far from being the first in the class”, according to him, the youngest of two children discovers workaholic as the medical competition approaches. Once graduated in ophthalmology, rather than settling down, he takes the path to laboratories. He will start at Sanofi, in the process obtaining an Executive MBA from HEC (a “Good house” where he now teaches courses on business management).

“Bashing lab”

It was the start of a twenty-eight year career in the pharmaceutical sector, a field that the father of three left in 2009, when he was vice-president of Pfizer France. “At that time, my job was to orchestrate social plans. And my industry, implicated in unfair trials, suffered from a deplorable image ”, he remembers, still shaken by a taxi ride during which the driver likened the laboratories to “Assassins”. “The ‘lab bashing’ was getting boring. And I wanted to spend my energy in solving a public health problem ”, says the entrepreneur, who developed the Point Vision network – the group weighs 80 million euros in turnover, with 900 employees and 40 centers that welcome 1.2 million patients per year – always keeping one foot in the practice.

40 years at Henri-Mondor hospital

“François was a practitioner attached to the Henri-Mondor hospital for nearly forty years”, pointe Gilles Lhernould, former senior vice-president of Sanofi. In addition to a never-broken link with medicine, this friend of over thirty years underlines the stubbornness of his “Faithful comrade”. He knows everything about the mechanisms of growth and financing, but above all he never lets go ”, he said.

Indeed, the person concerned seems impervious to obstacles. Not without humor, he evokes his “Adventurous spirit … which led him to move from the right bank to the left bank”. In the same joking vein, this great lover of Chablis ham, a specialty of his Burgundian mother-in-law, confesses his “Little interest in the countryside”, he who enjoyed walking the Esplanade de la Défense when working in one of its towers.

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