Pearls in Dealing with Colleagues
• Never be afraid to ask for a consult (help).
• Admit when you are wrong.
• Strive to learn from the patients you refer in order to improve your own skills.
• Ask for a follow-up on the status of a patient that you referred.
• Ask your colleagues questions related to the practice, clinical and surgical skills.
• Provide new information to your colleagues with gentleness and respect. Remember, they still may be using older terminology
• Always be willing to help… be the ultimate team player.
• Remember colleagues’ birthdays and special family occasions. It is time to think beyond you; consider the needs of others above your own.
Interactions with Consulting Physicians
• Introduce yourself to all of the physicians and allied health care professionals when you first start and/or move to a new community.
• Dictate letters not only for Consults (which is required), carbon copy (CC) the letter to all doctors involved in the patient’s care.
• Provide information in your consult letter that is educational. Thank the individual in the letter for the consult and call them personally when possible. Providing a high quality letter will surely build your reputation.
• Attend many community functions to meet the public.
• Volunteer to speak at community organizations and health fairs.
• Coordinate a lecture series involving a broad spectrum of Physicians, from the podiatrist to the ophthalmologist; discuss Diabetes and the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities.
• Be respectful of everybody, even when it is 2:30 in the morning.
• Remember, you have a specific skill that a person needs of you. Be grateful for the opportunity to serve them.
• Create a special on-call bag (if applicable)
• Obtain CPR certification and ACLS certification. Know the basics of emergency care (ABCs). Remember, we are physicians first (if you are in a surgical subspecialty).
• Spend time with family and friends…get reacquainted with your family now that you are done with your formal training.
• Begin financial planning for you and your family.
• Do not over-commit.
• Remain enthusiastic… after all, you are practicing medicine.
Rob Melendez, MD, MBA