As a physician, you spend years in medical school, residency, and in practice learning, training, and perfecting your craft, but that alone won’t make you a successful doctor. There is always more to learn and there are always more things that you can do to make your career more successful and make your life outside of work more enjoyable.
Even the most experienced doctors can take steps to become even better, and there are a few easy ways to do so that you can get the most out of your career.
Here are seven success tips for experienced doctors looking to live a more productive, efficient, and financially secure lifestyle.
- Take Breaks and Vacations
Physician burnout is a real thing, and one of the best ways to avoid it is to enjoy your downtime.
Schedule vacations and take days off whenever possible. When you are on the job, take mini breaks throughout the day to refresh your brain, eat a healthy meal, or relax for a few minutes.
- Get Enough Sleep
No matter how much you work out or how healthy your diet may be, getting enough sleep is essential for every medical professional. Just like taking breaks and carving out vacation time, it’s important to set aside enough hours each night to get a full night’s sleep.
- Continue to Learn
While your med school days may be long behind you, it’s important to maintain a thirst for learning and continue to acquire new knowledge throughout your career.
Advancements are always being made in healthcare, and the most successful physicians make it a point to read online medical study documents, medical journals, attend seminars, and have discussions with colleagues to stay abreast of new technologies, new medical equipment, new medications, and new procedures. A successful career in medicine requires keeping up with the latest developments in healthcare.
Outside of your technical medical skills, you should also continue to push yourself to improve your communication skills, your ability to empathize with patients, and your bedside manner.
- Ask Patients for Feedback
Reading feedback (and acting on it) is one of the best ways to strengthen your medical practice and become a more successful physician.
You should read the reviews and grades patients give you on online review sites such as Healthgrades. If patients aren’t providing a lot of feedback, you can solicit feedback with patient surveys or questionnaires.
Patients are quick to commend great physicians for a job well done and complain about physicians they don’t like. Listen to what your patients have to say and look for ways to improve your performance, particularly in the areas they complain about.
Doing this early and often in your career can set you up for long-term success.
- Become More Efficient
Physicians that own a private practice or are a partner in a group practice often wear many hats. As a business owner, you are responsible for everything that goes on within the practice, so it’s important to use your time wisely and become more efficient with the limited time you have.
Focus on the things that only a physician can do. Don’t waste time on administrative issues or managing the practice. Instead, hire the proper staff to handle all of the tasks that don’t require a medical license so that you can focus on what you’re trained to do.
- Protect Yourself with Disability Insurance
Most high-income-earning physicians have many financial responsibilities. From your mortgage to your children’s college tuition to daily living expenses, financial obligations can take a serious toll, regardless of how much you earn.
Physicians should protect themselves, their families, and their future unearned income with an individual, long-term disability insurance policy. Disability insurance allows you to collect a portion of your salary even if you suffer an illness or injury that prevents you from working and earning the income you’re accustomed to.
Disability insurance is also peace of mind, which can reduce stress. It ensures that you’ll be able to earn income for years to come, even if you become disabled or injured early in your career.
Read this guide on physician disability insurance to learn how you can pay less for disability insurance early in your career and increase coverage as you become more experienced and earn more.
- Surround Yourself with a Strong Team
It’s crucial to surround yourself with a strong team of professionals, particularly if you own your own practice or are a partner in a group practice.
Having a strong team around you allows for better collaboration amongst the team, which results in the ability to deliver better patient care. Keep in mind that you can be a key factor in helping to build a strong team by acting as a mentor to younger physicians, NPs, and PAs.
Early in your career, having a mentor can be invaluable. Later in your career, acting as a mentor for others allows you to share your experience and guide the next generation of medical professionals.
No matter experienced or inexperienced you are as a physician, there are many ways to improve your skills, become more successful in your career, and provide better patient care:
- Take care of your own physical and mental health
- Continue to learn and improve upon your existing skills
- Collect and act on patient feedback
- Protect yourself with disability insurance
- Improve efficiency and patient care by surrounding yourself with a strong team
By following these tips you can enjoy long-term success as a physician from now all the way until retirement.