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Career Resolutions To Elevate Your Medical Practice In The 2020s

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    For physicians, the decade ahead presents a couple of options. A doctor can choose to see it as another 10 years they have to slog through to make it to retirement, or they can reframe it. Perhaps the next decade, and its challenges, are opportunities to practice and refine your craft. Or better yet, maybe it’s the decade that you take your practice of medicine to the next level. While you could begin elevating your medical career at any point, why not use a new decade to start? Here are 5 career resolutions you could make for the new Roaring 20s.

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    Practice stress and recovery

    Emphasis on the recovery. Medicine is stressful enough. You take your job seriously, but do you take your personal life just as seriously? You should. Think of an elite athlete. Are they training every single day? As a physician, you know that this eventually will lead to a complete breakdown of the body or the mind. An athlete will begin to grow weaker, lose focus, possibly get sick. Why, then, do you hold different expectations for yourself?

    Ultimately, coming into work with a clear mind and a refreshed body will make you more effective as a physician. You’re not a resident anymore, doctor. You have nothing to prove. Take better care of yourself so you can take better care of others.

    Resolution: I will take rest as seriously as I take my work.

    Mentor somebody

    New residents and newly minted physicians don’t know what they don’t know — just like you didn’t know what you didn’t know. But you survived and then thrived because, very likely, some compassionate doctor took you under their wing and made sure you didn’t embarrass yourself, or worse. How about returning the favor?

    Millennials and Generation Z have different methods of communication and different priorities, but as physicians, they want what you want: healthy patients. They would benefit from the insights and skills you’ve refined throughout your career, and you might just learn a thing or two from them in the process, like how to streamline your EHRs, or how to master a new piece of technology.

    Resolution: I will mentor a more junior colleague.

    Build a relationship with your boss

    You don’t have to be his or her best friend (and in truth, you probably shouldn’t be), but it helps to invest time in building a rapport with your supervisor. This is arguably even more important if he/she has, shall we say, a difficult personality.

    Having a relationship with your boss is like a way of paying it forward to your future self. There’s going to come a time when you need a break. Maybe you need to make something right with your S.O., and getting out of being on call would go a long way. Or maybe your favorite band is in town and someone offers you a last-minute ticket.

    Having an established relationship with your boss will make it more likely to get what you want. Keep in mind, that means you’re going to have to give so that you can receive. Maintaining a relationship doesn’t mean just popping by her/his office for a quick chat on Thursdays. Help your boss out when you can, and you’re more likely to receive what you need when you need it. Seems obvious, but so few actually do it.

    Resolution: I will build a relationship with my boss.

    Find a new job (if you’re miserable)

    It’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes no amount of relationship-building is going to save you from a boss from hell. Additionally, there’s little you can do to repair a truly dysfunctional organization, or a broken work culture. Sometimes you just have to move on.

    If a career in medicine teaches you anything, it’s that life can be tragically short, and stress is a killer. If your contract is expiring, you’re truly miserable, and you’ve done all that you can to repair the situation, it’s time to move on. We spend about 30% of our lives working. We shouldn’t spend 30% of our lives being completely miserable.

    Resolution: I will find a new job if I’m miserable.

    Keep learning

    Driven by technology, the evolution of medical practice is gaining speed. If you don’t make an effort to keep up (beyond what board certification requires), you might get left in the dust. It’s likely that a love of learning brought you to medicine in the first place. Chances are, you’re brainy. Use that gray matter.

    For surgeons, maybe this means incorporating some robotics into your practice. For physicians, maybe it means diving deeper into your commonly treated disease states, getting involved in research, or implementing new diagnostic or disease-monitoring technology. A little mental elbow grease applied now may end up making your job that much easier in the future.

    Resolution: I will learn something new.

    TL;DR
    Some resolutions that will help your career take flight in the new Roaring 20s:
    • I will take rest as seriously as I take my work.
    • I will mentor a more junior colleague.
    • I will build a relationship with my boss.
    • I will find a new job if I’m miserable.
    • I will learn something new.
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