Working in the medical profession allows you to make life-changing differences in other people’s lives every day. Along with this reward comes significant responsibilities, though, and you must always be aware of the importance of your role.
As a physician, you’re the ultimate resource others look to for instant decisions that can have long-term and/or permanent effects.
But even though you may be the apex decision-maker in your field, there will be things you still need to learn and questions you’ll have throughout your career. Whether you’re looking for answers to changes in the medical field or have financial concerns, here are some of the top expert advice for doctors to help you achieve personal and professional success.
1. Keep Pursuing Your Goals
Once you begin the day-to-day hustle and bustle of being a doctor, it’s easy to go with the grind and forget about your goals. But to propel your personal life and your career forward, you’ll need to have a general idea of where you want to go. Otherwise, even if you love what you do, you could quickly end up feeling stuck and burnt out.
You don’t have to go deep into your goals until you’re ready. However, at minimum, you should have achievable, detailed targets for your career, personal life, and finances.
Keep your goals in mind as you make decisions for the future. For example, before you accept a new job, consider your future priorities and ensure the contract terms are in line with them. As you choose courses for your continuing education requirements, do so early enough that you can attend seminars that further your career goals.
You don’t have to reach all your targets right away, but every small, strategic step forward gets you there faster.
2. Always Have a Mentor
It’s rewarding to be someone’s mentor, but when you face challenges, who do you turn to?
Find a professional whom you respect and admire. It’s helpful if they’re in your specific field, but any knowledgeable physician can understand your struggles and give you good advice.
When you find someone that you feel comfortable being honest and vulnerable with, and you talk to them, it becomes easier to solve your professional and personal challenges.
3. Keep Your CV Updated
The medical field is always changing. Chances are, if you graduated more than a few years ago, those high-tech skills on your original CV are already outdated. And a year or two into your career has brought you more knowledge that you didn’t know you needed.
If you wait until you’re looking for a new job or you’ve been asked to speak at a conference to update your CV, you’ll struggle to recall everything you’ve learned. A good time to redo your document is after you’ve taken your continuing education courses. You can add those, along with anything else you’ve done throughout the year, to the appropriate sections and remove anything that is obsolete.
You should also have a basic cover page template that you can tweak before you submit your CV to anyone. If you’re not sure how to write a cover page, read this article by Physicians Thrive to learn what to include and why these are essential documents.
4. Don’t Give Up Your Interests
Finding time to have a personal life in such a demanding career can be a challenge of its own. However, scheduling time in your week to decompress by doing something you enjoy can make you more productive.
Find pockets of time that allow you to leave the office for an hour or two or get up earlier to free a little extra time in your day. If you have control over your schedule, book a two-hour lunch once a week and eat with someone you enjoy being with or take lessons on that instrument you’ve always wanted to play.
You may be a doctor, but you’re a person first. When you neglect yourself, you can’t show up as well for your patients. Permit yourself to engage in some self-care for a few hours each week. You’ll find it’s easier than you expect to disconnect from responsibilities, and you will become a better physician when you return.
You’ve worked for nearly a decade (or longer) to reach your goal of becoming a doctor. But now that you can check that off your to-do list, that doesn’t mean your time of goal-setting and achieving is over. Now, to be the best you can be in your career, follow these four pieces of expert advice, and you’ll find more reward than challenge in your job.