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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on September 1st, 2022

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10 Success Tips from Experienced Doctors

Healthcare Advice

Doctor-Success-TipsHow good of a job do you think you are doing as a physician? If you have a healthy sense of objectivity, you can evaluate your skills and experience level to see where you might be falling short.

Here are 10 success tips from experienced doctors that you can apply in your own life and hopefully achieve even greater levels of success from medical school to residency and beyond.

1. Avoid Burnout

Doctors full of enthusiasm for their work and who have little going on in their private lives may be tempted to burn the candle at both ends. They wind up avoiding breaks and forego vacations and sick days unless circumstances force them to do so.

Good doctors strike a healthy work-life balance and take vacations on a regular basis to recharge your batteries and your excitement about the work.  Since medical professionals have some of the highest levels of burnout in any industry, the best doctors understand what it takes to stay recharged and keep putting your best foot forward day to day.

2. Cultivate a Great Bedside Manner

If you already know that you have a good bedside manner (based on empirical data, such as compliments on this topic from multiple patients and other medical professionals), you’re in good shape. However, many excellent physicians have developed their skills and knowledge to the detriment of their social ability and compassion.  A good doctor will never underestimate how important it is for patients to understand their procedures, processes, and potential outcomes. 

3. Get up to Speed on Nutrition

Often times doctors only spend a brief unit on the basics of human nutrition while in medical school and then wind up buried in work to the extent that they can’t afford time off to improve their knowledge. Plan to brush up on the latest peer-reviewed nutritional research to help you consult more effectively with your patients.  Physical health goes hand in hand with nutritional health.

4. Solicit Feedback from Patients

Things may not be going so well at your practice, but you may not find out the depth of the problem absent some kind of confirmation. It’s a good idea to request feedback (and let patients provide it anonymously). This way, the best doctors can discover problems before they grow too large and then take steps to make things better.

5. Aim for Humility over Arrogance

Doctors sometimes develop a superiority complex, which can be understandable when you routinely save lives and improve patient prospects so dramatically. Consider striving for humility when dealing with staff and patients for better harmony.  Remember, medical school is just the beginning of what you need to learn. Even the best doctors make mistakes and do not always come to an accurate diagnosis at the beginning.  Communication skills are key.

6. Think Twice Before Using Social Media

It’s nearly impossible to take back something you write on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. If you are inclined to engage with your patients and the community at large via social media, choose your words carefully. 

It would be best to write your post and then leave it alone for a bit. Then return to it later in the day and see if you are still comfortable putting the comment out in the world forever with your name on it.

7. Find Your Own Mentor

If you didn’t acquire a mentor during school or your residency, this might be an ideal time to cultivate such a relationship now. Even experienced medical professionals can benefit from spending time with and picking the brains of mentors who are more successful and experienced than them.  At a young age, finding a good mentor is the best chance you have at finding your footing in your practice.

8. Never Stop Studying

You already attend seminars that present new findings in your field or demonstrate new techniques or medications. Even though your university days and residency are now things of the past, only arrogant doctors would ever think that they are done with learning. Keep up with medical journals and other sources of cutting-edge information in your field.

9. Keep out of Office Politics

When you put a large enough group of people together, politics inevitably ensues. From employees trying to jockey their way to a better position earlier than their competitors to managers who have disagreements about policy implementation, it’s always best to approach from a position of diplomacy and cooperation.  Patient care should always be the number one priority and being a team player is critical to the success of a practice. 

10. Give Back to the Community

Volunteering your time and expertise on a periodic basis can lead to much greater success. You’ll feel good about yourself and engender goodwill in the community you serve. Consider stepping in to help at a local free clinic or at a nearby university’s medical clinic.

Whatever your level of experience as a doctor, there is always room to learn and grow. Take these success tips and apply them to your own professional development and you should start to see some improvements in your practice.

Key Takeaway

  • Don’t get burned out. Take breaks and regular vacations.
  • Steer clear of office politics whenever possible.
  • Give back to the community by volunteering your skills and knowledge.
  • Think twice before posting on social media in your role as a physician.
  • Ask patients for anonymous feedback to further improve your performance.


About Stephen O'Connor

Stephen O'Connor is the Director of Brand and Digital Marketing, responsible for many aspects of Advanced Data Systems Corporation’s (ADS) marketing, including product marketing, customer acquisition, demand generation, brand, brand design, and content marketing.

Stephen has more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience. Prior to ADS, Stephen spent 11 years at Medical Resources Inc. (MRI), most recently as the Manager of Marketing & Internet Services, where he and his teams were responsible for all marketing efforts and the market positioning of MRI’s services.

Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional.