You did it! After decades of hard work and intensive training, you’ve crossed the finish line and are ready to begin your career as an attending physician. Here are five quick tips to ensure you’re starting out on the right foot:
1.) Set Goals
Sit down and think through your 5 and 10 year goals. Then write down what you need to do to get there. Don’t forget to work your network. Reach out to your faculty mentors or residency leadership for advice about how you can go about achieving your personal career goals.
2.) Be a Life Long Learner
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone remembers their first days as an attending physician. It is OK to simply say, “I don’t know but let me find out,” when asked a question by a student, resident, or patient. You need to be a lifelong learner if you want to stay on top of your game.
3.) Get to Know Your Colleagues
Talk to people! Co-workers, nurses, techs, consultants, janitors, etc. Make eye contact and smile in the hallways. Always introduce yourself, even if you can’t shake hands at the moment.
4.) Trust Your Gut
Listen to that little voice in the back of your head. If your gut gets queasy at the thought of discharging a patient, listen to your gut and keep them for observation. Even if you can’t quite put your finger on it, always trust your intuition. Your gut is very well trained and usually right!
5.) Listen to Your Patients
It is worth the few minutes it takes to sit down and really hear what the patient is saying. You will learn so much and your patients can tell the difference.
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