Faculty Innovator Spotlight: Dr. Maxwell Laurans
Written by Hailey O'Connor YC ’24
Improving healthcare systems and serving as an agent of change, Dr. Maxwell Laurans, MD, MBA, FAANS is a luminary in healthcare innovation. As a distinguished member of the Yale New Haven Health team, Dr. Laurans is Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Senior Vice President of Neurosciences, Orthopedics, and Surgical Services. In addition to his clinical and executive expertise, he serves as the Faculty Co-Director of Yale’s Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT), mentoring the next generation of Yale founders who are focused on data science and diagnostics.
His journey in healthcare is not just about treating patients; it is a narrative of continuous progress and pioneering advancements in healthcare services.
Throughout his multifaceted career Dr. Laurans has made significant contributions to the healthcare industry as a physician-entrepreneur, often through his entrepreneurial lens. He has “always been interested in the intersection between public and private healthcare,” and this interest, combined with an entrepreneurial mindset, led to the creation of Nomad Health, an online marketplace connecting physicians, nurses, and medical facilities for healthcare jobs, minimizing the involvement of third-party employment agencies and providing a revolutionary solution to temporary healthcare staffing.
In 2015, Dr. Laurans co-founded Nomad Health as a solution to healthcare staffing. The platform connects professionals seeking temporary work directly with hospitals in need, thereby disrupting the traditional and inefficient model that relies on brokers and agencies. The approach has significantly reduced the costs of temporary clinical labor, benefiting both healthcare providers and patients. This achievement is particularly noteworthy in an industry marked by perpetual change and evolving challenges. Dr. Laurans is guided by the patient's experience in his approach to solving healthcare challenges.
His commitment to continuous innovation and improvement in the healthcare sector is a common thread throughout his career and accomplishments. In an industry filled with endless challenges. Dr. Laurans maintains high morale and a focus on the abundant potential for its transformation.
“I tell my teams on a regular basis that when we go home at night, we never need to wonder if what we do matters — it does, every day. We have opportunities to innovate and improve the health and lives of everyone around us in an industry with enormous challenges and enormous potential impact. It is a privilege to work in health care services.”
Dr. Laurans encourages fellow innovators to be fearless in their pursuits and to take that initial plunge. At the same time, innovators must “be fearless and take risks, but also be sure to mitigate those risks.” When it comes to mitigation, Dr. Laurans suggests thoughtful consideration of the timing of innovation within the industry's rhythm, strategic positioning, and the identification of opportunities within large markets. Additionally, he emphasizes the crucial role of assembling a great team and cultivating valuable partnerships.
As the faculty co-director of Yale CBIT, Dr. Laurans fosters an environment and community that centers innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthcare solutions its teams pursue. The Center’s mission to “convene and catalyze innovators across Yale’s campus” strikes a chord with Dr. Laurans, who said he particularly appreciates the “opportunity to mentor young teams with new ideas” through his role. Coordinating speakers and spearheading the highly anticipated annual Yale Healthcare Hackathon, Dr. Laurans maintains a bustling schedule. To balance his numerous roles, he practices being "psychologically 100% present" in every task, wherever he finds himself.
Dr. Maxwell Laurans is the embodiment of medical expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation in the healthcare industry. His dedication to improving healthcare services and reducing costs through Nomad Health reflects his vision for a more efficient and accessible healthcare system. Dr. Laurans continues to inspire and drive change with his entrepreneurial lens, making a lasting impact on the field of healthcare.