Physicians Advice and Top Tips for New Grads Part 1

Transitioning from residency to independent practice presents various challenges, from handling increased paperwork and patient volume to managing heightened responsibilities.

New doctors with 1-5 years of experience shed light on these challenges:

  1. Biggest Challenges for New Doctors:
    • Managing time both in and out of the clinic is paramount, especially with the constraints of short appointment durations and handling other responsibilities like paperwork, labs, results, and committee duties.
    • The business aspect of setting up a new practice, particularly administrative duties and billing, can be daunting.
    • New practitioners often grapple with feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Continued learning, consistent exposure to a particular work environment, and getting familiar with different Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can be instrumental.
    • Transitioning from the role of a resident to an attending physician requires building confidence. Now, decisions rest primarily with you, but with time, confidence grows.
    • The leap from residency involves understanding patient volume, responsibility, and the nuances of billing. Connecting with experienced colleagues and mentors can provide clarity.
  2. Frustrations of Being a New Physician:
    • There’s a significant amount of work outside of direct patient care, like paperwork, labs, and notes, which often aren’t directly compensated. Striking a balance between work and personal time becomes a challenge.
    • Time management becomes crucial, especially when referrals flood in.
    • Without a supervisor, new doctors often miss having someone to confer with.
  3. Surprising Insights:
    • The vast amount of opportunities and the consistent support from fellow doctors, administration, and allied health is a pleasant surprise.
    • Independent practice fosters a more collegial environment than residency.
    • Despite challenges, the job can be deeply satisfying and peer support is substantial.
    • The journey as a physician flies by, so relishing the experience is key.
  4. Aspects New Doctors Felt Least Prepared For:
    • Handling administrative responsibilities was unexpected for many.
    • Outside-the-office tasks, such as following up on labs, faxes, and calls, were surprising.
    • Ensuring timely booking of consultations and coordinating with clerical staff was another unanticipated challenge.
    • Residency often doesn’t cover areas like billing, practice design, and management adequately.
  5. Advice for Aspiring Physicians:
    • Attend seminars focused on business and administration.
    • Make mindful choices about workload, especially when starting. It’s essential to strike a balance and ensure personal well-being.
    • It’s helpful to start as a locum in desired locations, determining the right fit and understanding the work culture. Get familiar with billing codes and avoid rushing into accepting patients.
    • Independent practice demands continuous self-assessment and growth. Regular introspection about decisions, workflow, and communication is crucial.
    • Establishing good relationships with experienced colleagues can be a lifeline. It’s pivotal to work in a supportive environment, so it’s advisable to assess groups before committing long-term.
    • Staying organized, especially regarding paperwork and billing, is essential. Create a work schedule that aligns with personal needs and collaborate with individuals who complement your work style.

For more resources on careers in healthcare & physician employment check out:
Employment Contract Review for Physicians
Pros and Cons Working as a Locum Physician
How to Improve Workplace Productivity in the Healthcare Industry
Employment Contract Review for Physicians