We as physicians often forget the importance of following best practices in our personal lives. We are highly trained and often very bright students that have always excelled in class. How is it then that once we graduate residency programs we veer from the path of best practices in our personal and professional lives?
We learn from our parents (good and bad), we receive instruction from our grade school teachers, and we are indoctrinated to the philosophies of our college and medical school professors. Each step of the way we learn from wiser and more experienced individuals in order to pave the paths to success. Best practices come from those that have experienced life and other learned situations.
In residency, information about the business of medical practices, insurance payments, electronic medical records, quality measures, personal finances, debt, consultant relationships, etc. are difficult to attain. Even when there are physician professors that may have the experience to teach the above, time constraints limit the ability for information to sink in.
As a young physician working in the emergency room six months out of residency, I remember seeing a young lady with a laceration just above her right eye. The laceration involved her eyebrow and as zealous internal medicine trained emergency room doctor I wanted to do a good job. I shaved part of her eyebrow and proceeded to close the wound and thought I did a great job. Seven days later the ER medical director (my boss) called me into his office and proceeded to inform me of what I did wrong. You see, for those of you reading without a surgical background, I found out that you should never shave the eyebrow in a laceration repair because hair growth is extremely slow and this is not the correct standard of care. Later that day I read through a surgical textbook and my error was very clear.
Not following the proper standards for personal success in choosing the right career path, first job, and even going into debt by leasing or purchase a luxury car are examples of how physicians routinely ignore best practices outside of patient care. Thomas Stanley described the characteristics of first generation American millionaires in his book “The Millionaire Next Door” and it was truly shocking to see how often we as physicians ignore the obvious. In his book, he details the results of IRS record research, surveys of Americans with a net worth of over $1 million, interviews with highly successful individuals, and personal observation of millionaire habits. What was most astounding was that most millionaires in his surveys rarely made over $200,000 annually.
As a practicing physician with first-hand knowledge of major life pitfalls, I am especially passionate about providing my fellow colleagues life changing information that will allow them to thrive and enjoy their professional careers. The ideas and information presented at www.coachjpmd.com may not be mainstream but I assure you that if they are understood, followed, and passed on, the healthcare industry could see changes that are long overdue. With knowledge and understanding, we can become better physicians and live the lives that we are called to live. All of this while providing the best patient care possible.
Let us learn from each other, so that our paths may intersect at a much higher level than we are today.
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