First job? Here are some pearls to help you get started.

Pearls to help transition into your first job.
Rob Melendez, MD, MBA

Interactions 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 (For instance, Background DiabeticRetinopathy instead of Mild, Moderate and Severe Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy; Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) instead of PK; Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) instead of AMD.
• 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 optometrists, ophthalmologists, and physicians in
This will help build your practice.
• 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
• 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.

On-Call Issues

• 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 with all the instruments and drops you may need.
Be prepared for any ophthalmic emergency.
• Obtain CPR certification and ACLS certification.
Know the basics of emergency care (ABCs). Remember, we are physicians first.

Personal Time

• 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. Remember, studying for the boards is top priority.
• Remain enthusiastic…after all, you are practicing ophthalmology.

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