Yes, suggestions for improvement are coming at you from every angle. Administrators, your patients, your colleagues, your mother, yourself. It’s quite possible that the last thing you feel you need are resolutions. But for those of you that are looking to make some concrete changes in 2017, here are some to consider:
1. Take care of yourself as well as you take care of your patients. 2016 has proven to us that burnout is real. Get more sleep, read for fun, take more vacations, exercise more, treat yourself, etc. If you need to, take an occasional vacation day to focus on you. Most importantly, stop being so hard on yourself.
2. Pick a proposed area of health care reform and learn about it. There’s a lot to choose from these days. If things are starting to sound like alphabet soup, it’s time to do a little research into the things that will impact your career.
3. Make a point to address your online reputation. If you’re not into regularly posting on Facebook and Twitter, there are other ways to do this — an occasional article or blog, or just asking your patients to write a good review for you if they were happy with your care. With people increasingly looking online before choosing their doctors, this may be the most effective marketing you can do.
4. Try to cut down on the coffee (blasphemy, I know). But you have enough things increasing your catecholamine levels and taking hits on your wallet.
5. Realize that there’s no point in just complaining about your EMR. It’s here to stay. Find ways to take advantage of its benefits, and if there’s a particular issue that irritates you every day, talk to your IT team to see if it can be fixed. Many problems can be addressed if brought to the right person’s attention.
6. As you’re walking out to the parking lot at the end of the day, pick a thing from the day that jives with why you went into the medical field. A patient interaction that was particularly great, something you learned that day, or a procedure that you really enjoyed are examples. As much as there is to complain about these days, there’s a lot to be thankful for.
7. Stop the infighting among different groups of medical professionals. There is no tangible benefit to belittling the roles of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, technicians, etc. We’re all working as a team and should be figuring out ways to leverage our respective strengths. There are too many outside battles to fight to fight amongst ourselves.
Whatever changes you make, here’s hoping for a year of better patient care, less frustration, and healthier, happier health care professionals.
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