Updated: Jan 10
You're just about to start your practice for the first time! You're filled with excitement mixed with a little bit of healthy fear. This is one piece of wisdom I'd like to pass along as you start your new adventure.
It's a marathon – not a race
Starting to practice for the first time is fast-paced and exciting, but it can also very quickly head towards burnout with an all-or-nothing attitude. Try to stay focused on your long-term career goals to train resilience within yourself for the days/weeks/months when things aren't going to plan. Embrace the ebb and flow, not stressing when the clinic is slow and managing your time and energy when clinic is busy. Invest in knowledge and skill acquisition to build confidence for the ideal practice in the future.
I used to stress when it was slow but now I love it and use it as time to catch up on reading or other things. I used to make myself super available but now I have a better handle on my schedule (most of the time!). This also creates bookings for several weeks and a demand (ongoing waitlist means have a pool of patient to call when there are cancellations) I still don’t have this perfectly done and it changes with the times. I often get carried away and tire myself out trying to fit people in and then I get reminders, when I’m spending a weekend crashed on the couch, that I did it to myself again and its time to reset - this is normal.
You aren’t going full pelt in a marathon, nor should you when you start your practice.
Give yourself time to review cases, spend extra time with patients so you better understand their case and your treatment effects, and as you become more competent and confident you can start creating more boundaries with time or charge more for that time.