"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons.Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected. If you don't stay connected and grounded, you burn out."
We received the comment above in a recent e-mail from a doctor of chiropractic practicing in the United States. And while this DC does practice in a smaller town (with approximately 30 other DCs), his sentiments echo what I have heard from many doctors over the past 30-plus years. It actually makes perfect sense.
To be a successful doctor of chiropractic, you have to possess certain qualities. These include courage, persistence and the willingness to go against the flow of modern medicine. There is a certain rugged individualism that typifies the chiropractic spirit.
My father had it and so did my grandfather. They had a resiliency that kept them sharing chiropractic to patients, friends and anyone who would listen. They were willing to confront what was considered "common knowledge," even if it made people uncomfortable.
If you are in a solo practice, you can probably identify with this doctor's comment. If you are part of a joint practice, you may feel this way to a lesser degree. In either case, there are likely times you feel alone in your struggle to bring the benefits of chiropractic to your community.
Staying "connected" is the key to maintaining your stamina and enthusiasm. But you have to be willing to work at it. Like every relationship, connecting with other doctors of chiropractic will cost you time and energy. It will also require you to be accessible and transparent, something you may not be willing to do; but the benefits certainly outweigh the costs.
Our health care world is changing dramatically. We all need to adapt to those changes in order to survive and hopefully thrive. New practice models may be needed to make you more efficient. New technology will be required in order to care for your patients at the level they will be expecting.
Connecting with other DCs gives you the opportunity to discuss challenges and share solutions. You will gain insight into the future and solace in knowing you are not alone. Camaraderie and fellowship make you part of a team, rather than a loner. Here are four practical ways to get (and stay) connected:
- Attend – Spend time at conventions / events listening to speakers and perusing the exhibition hall to see what's new and what's working. Don't go to the same events and listen to the same speakers each year; branch out and see what else is out there.
- Read – Spend time reading new research and professional publications. Learn what science has discovered about health, listen to the debates on issues relevant to your practice, and consider the future through the eyes of our thought leaders.
- Invite – Discuss common challenges and solutions with local DCs. Invite them to lunch every other Thursday to discuss a different topic related to maximizing your shared success.
- Integrate – Talk with other (like-minded) health care providers about ways you can work together. You may find they are facing some of the same issues you are.
Staying connected is not an option; it is necessary for your professional health. As the doctor who emailed us emphasized: "If you don't stay connected and grounded, you burn out."
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