Any quiet “thinking time” in late December is likely to find a physician reflecting on the year-end...and the year ahead. For many providers, the only constant—past or future—has been, and will likely be, change…and New Year resolutions can often be distilled to a wish for “a better year.”
Reward yourself this holiday season with a few thoughtful minutes about exactly how to make the days and weeks ahead different and better. Here are two books—one new, and one not-so-new—for mental fuel.
E-Myth Physician: Why Most Medical Practices Don't Work and What to Do About It
The fabric of American healthcare has been changing in the decade since business guru Michael E. Gerber published this quick-read addition to his E-Myth series of business books in 2003. Nevertheless, the core concept—working on the business of being a physician—still provides valuable insight for both independent practitioners and employed doctors.
In his introduction, Gerber writes:
“According to the E-Myth, the key to transforming your practice—and your life—is to grasp the profound difference between going to work on your practice (Systems Thinker) and going to work in your practice (Tactical Thinker). It’s the difference between going to work on your practice as an entrepreneur and going to work in your practice as a doctor.”
The E-Myth Physician shows its age in a few spots, but Gerber’s practical business advice still supports the stated goal of “freeing physicians from the daily grind of running a business and leading them to a happier and more productive life while doing the job they love—practicing medicine.”
Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices
Fast-forward to the digital age of today’s Internet-empowered and informed patients (and long book titles). Authors Dr. Kevin Pho and Susan Gay provide a comprehensive roadmap for healthcare providers to navigate social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and others, as well as physician rating sites and blogs.
Dr. Pho has the unique perspective of being a primary care physician (Nashua, NH) as well as a widely read social media author and blogger (KevinMD.com). On the first few pages of the Social Media Guide, authors Pho and Gay establish the newly established importance of the Internet in healthcare delivery. It’s a significant force in the care continuum. Speaking to physicians, they write:
“Why is your online reputation important? Because that’s where your patients go not only to get health information but to read more about you.” Further, “Social media has opened the door for two-way communications between physicians and patients. Partnering with patients can have a profound effect on patient satisfaction and ultimately on outcomes. Social media tools help grow those relationships and should either be a source of reputable information themselves or guide patients to reputable health websites.”
The new dynamics of healthcare now include new online gateways to physician and hospital selection, as well as to produce a new class of informed (and empowered) patients. Patients, they write, “have a voice in their own care that they never had before. And more are using social media and physician review sites to choose their doctor or medical practice. Given these stakes, you can't afford to leave your online reputation to chance.”
These two reference books were written specifically for doctors with helpful guidance about the business side and the social media side of being in practice. Both provide practical advice worth considering as you formulate your New Year resolutions.
The E-Myth Physician (Michael E. Gerber; HarperBusiness 2003; Kindle $8.89, Paperback $11.46) and Establishing, Managing and Protecting Your Online Reputation: Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices (Kevin Pho, MD and Susan Gay; Greenbranch Publishing 2013; Paperback $56.56) are widely available at major bookstores and from Amazon.com. Disclosure: we have no business connection with any of the authors or titles in this post.