With a new year just hours away, many people are making fantastic resolutions that they probably won’t keep. Here are 5 actually feasible ways for you to be a better provider in 2017.
- Improve Your Physical Fitness– I know, this resolution is not very original, but it is crucial to the performance of our duties. Being in good physical shape not only makes our jobs easier, it makes us less prone to injury. So if you want to continue to be the provider, and not the patient, seriously consider this as a priority resolution. Don’t make unreasonable goals, just set one that you can honestly stick to. Even adding a 10 minute workout that you will complete every single day will prove to have drastic results for the better if you are currently doing nothing.
- Listen to Your Patients – With provider attentiveness being a top complaint among patients, do your best to listen just a little better. Obviously, fatigue makes active listening quite a challenge at 0300 when you’re down 5 charts, but do your best to listen just a little more. What’s the worst that can happen?
- Read a Book – Any book will do. Reading exercises our brains and enhances our critical thinking skills. If you wanted to kill two birds with one stone, you could try reading Tintinalli’s from cover to cover, but that could get dry no matter how much you love your job. A book I read recently that was really good is “Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis” by Lisa Sanders. It was very interesting, and I even learned a few things.
- Become an Expert– Everyone has likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, take whatever your strength is and become the local expert about that particular topic. It does not have to be a broad topic like cardiology or trauma. It could be something as focused as a specific disease process like appendicitis. If you pick something that you already have an interest in, it should be pretty easy. One day, your advanced knowledge will probably come in handy.
- Spend More Time With Family– This is often much easier said than done. Trying to align our schedules with our family schedule can be quite a task. This is, however, a task worth the effort. Spending time with family, friends and loved ones outside of work is a good way to combat the inherent stress that comes with the territory. Your family will surely appreciate it, and so will your cortisol levels.
These are just a few ideas I wanted to share, and are by no means the only ways you can improve in the new year. Whatever it is you decide for your resolutions, make sure they are attainable and realistic, otherwise, they will most likely fall to the wayside. I want to say a big Thank You to all of you that have visited the site and been involved this year. I really didn’t expect to have such a great following so quickly, and I am very thankful for all of the excellent feedback that I have received! I have some really big plans for the site over the next year, and I hope all of you will continue to visit to check it out. I wish you and your families a wonderful New Year’s Eve! Until next year, be safe and stay focused.