Ideas for the Future

In my ethical business management class this week, Kevin J. Pelton, JD, DC, spoke to our class about future financial independence, practice options, risk management, and the reality of being a doctor. He graduated in 1987 with his law degree and later in the '90s from NUHS with his chiropractic medicine degree. Dr. Pelton has had a very successful career, and as of today he sees patients in three clinics and has hospital privileges in the city where he practices. 

The first idea he presented was about having goals and dreams in mind for your future. His suggestion was to keep a small notebook with you to write down your goals, so they are always present in your day-to-day life. By having goals at all times, you ensure productivity in your daily life. The goals you have throughout life may change from career to family to social to leisure, and the key to achieving them is letting go of self-imposed limitations.

The next topic Dr. Pelton covered was practice options that are available for us when we graduate. With the average associateship lasting about 2.7 years, new grads need to have other practice options ready to go. Some tips for success in opening a practice include: keeping overhead low, having a small efficient office, leasing minimal equipment when opening, using highly integrated technology, and making office hours convenient for patients. The final option he presented was integrating into a hospital setting to practice, which he has done in a hospital in the OB/GYN department in his hometown. Integrating into a hospital in the Chicago area is a goal of mine in the future, so I have sent an email to him to discuss how to get started with that process. More details to come. 

Another topic Dr. Pelton covered was what it means to be a physician. Some important ways to make a connection with your patients are matching the energy level of the patient, being caring and responsive, and most importantly going above beyond what is merely expected of you.  Also, it is important to render a diagnosis and not a report of findings. Most patients find a long drawn-out report of findings to be confusing and unclear, and others will stop listening halfway through. By having a clear and concise diagnosis, you are able to set a solid foundation for that patient visit and how the future visits will be directed. Finally, do not push patient relationships too quickly. By matching the patient's energy and comfort level, you are able to move forward with the doctor-patient relationship at a pace that's comfortable for both of you. 

Down Time

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Another pot of flowers on our roof deck. We finished planting this weekend.

Earlier this week started with an Evo hair show that I attended with the fabulous XO Studio stylists Sunday evening. Evo is an all-natural, organic hair product line from Australia. This quote from their website (evohair.com) sums up why I am now in love with them, "Evo steps outside the normal realm of truth-stretching invention in a 'wake up and smell the coffee' crusade of twisted honesty--designed to make people think. And so comes the catch phrase--saving ordinary humans from themselves!" As a non-stylist, I was invited to attend the event with by a good friend, Charlie Bonanno, the owner of the best new salon in Lakeview, XO Studio. The event was really informative, super interesting, and most importantly full of free products. 

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Then on Saturday, I traveled down to Indianapolis for my partner's niece's graduation party. It was a really nice celebration, and a great day with family and friends. The day was also exciting in a way because it made me think about how very near my graduation actually is. In 325 days, give or take a few, I'll be walking across a stage with a diploma in my hand and giant smile on my face.