Physician success is a team sport, so why are you on the field alone?

Get off the field.

Go back to the dugout and rally your team.

Create your rules of engagement.

The structure and hierarchy of medicine teach doctors to compete with one another. From the beginning, we’re told there are a finite number of acceptance letters sent to aspiring physicians. In medical school, we compete for one of a limited number of slots in highly selective and competitive training programs. And as attendings, we have our eye out for the next ideal position.

While our clinical practices may differ, physicians are leaders. Being a leader can be a lonely place. One thing we have in common is the lack of meaningful support systems as the mainstay to success.

Industries outside of medicine understand the value of leadership training, team building, coaching, and personal growth for growth and expansion, retention, and sustainability.

Yet physicians move from student to trainee to attending with minimal support.

With support, success is predictable.

Without it, success happens by trial and error.

With systems and strategy, physicians prosper.

Without it, physicians flounder, mirroring colleagues who seemed to have figured it out.

As you observe a colleague’s success, do you attribute it to the school and training they attended? Or is it having the right network and connections?

Seldom do we focus on the team working behind the scenes to spearhead, guide, and direct the ship.

Where is your board of directors ready to partner with you for your professional and personal success?

Companies have them. Successful entrepreneurs have them. High performers have them. Yet as physicians, we believe that success is a solo endeavor.

Here’s what happens when we do it alone:

  • We are set adrift by our own limiting beliefs.
  • We are easily distracted by the needs of our patients and team.
  • We miss out on learning from another’s expertise and experiences.
  • We are anchored down by our emotions and misperceptions.
  • We feel like success is just beyond our reach.

Today is the perfect time for self-assessment:

  1. Do you have a team that supports your success?
  2. What are the key positions on your team?
  3. Is the right talent matched to the right team member?

Stephanie Wellington is a physician and can be reached at Nurturing MDs.

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