Tips for New Doctors: How to Ease Up Your Work

Updated: February 28, 2024


Being a new doctor can be both exciting and frightening. Despite your learning, the real job can be challenging.

It usually takes about six weeks before you start feeling stressed. This is when you might realize you are having a hard time. Some people might feel stressed, anxious, or even burned out.

But before reaching that point, here are some tips to assist you in caring for yourself and your colleagues. These eight gems can prove invaluable as you confront the trials of your fresh role.

  1. It Is Okay to Ask For Help

It is normal to have questions or worries. You might feel shy asking busy senior colleagues for help, especially if the question seems silly. But it is crucial to be okay with asking for help.

Remember, every doctor, no matter how experienced, talks with colleagues about tough cases. You have a duty to work within your skills and consult with others when needed. Not speaking up could be a problem if a patient gets hurt.

So, do not hesitate to reach out when you need support. It is part of being a responsible and caring doctor.

  1. Communicate Openly and Honestly

Building strong teams and positive relationships with patients relies on clear, honest communication. It is important to share any insights you gain and address any concerns from patients and families early on before they escalate.

Misunderstandings can lead to mistakes. Avoid using medical jargon or shortcuts, and always make sure everyone understands what is being said or needed. When in doubt, double-check instead of assuming. 

  1. Use Tools to Make Your Practice More Efficient 

Utilizing the appropriate technology and tools can significantly enhance your practice’s productivity and success. Although seemingly minor, issues like medication errors or communication lapses can greatly impact your practice’s reputation. By implementing the right tools, you can reduce costs and improve the patient experience.

The main challenge lies not in doctors’ recognition of the importance of new technology, but rather in their resistance due to uncertainty about integrating it into their current systems.

The medicine comparison tool facilitates informed decisions on medication and alternatives, aiding in dosage administration and financial assistance for patients. 

Doctors often face resistance to adopting new technology due to uncertainty about its integration into current systems. This medicine comparison tool allows for quick and easy comparison of various drugs, saving time and effort.

  1. Review Your Practice Regularly

As a newly qualified doctor, your journey is just beginning, and part of your role involves continually improving your skills and performance. Feedback is essential for your annual competence review, and seeking informal feedback helps you reflect on your progress.

According to the General Medical Council, you have a duty to reflect on your values, performance, and contributions, and to seek feedback from colleagues and patients. Negative feedback should be viewed constructively to address any areas needing improvement.

It is important to continually look for ways that can help you grow as a new doctor. In this journey of self-improvement consider using a medicine comparison tool to assist in comparing different medications and alternatives for your patients. This tool simplifies the process, reducing your workload.

Remember, feedback is valuable for growth, and embracing it positively contributes to your development as a doctor.

  1. Set Priorities For Your Tasks

Writing down your administrative tasks helps you prioritize effectively.

Patient care has clear deadlines, but paperwork can be more flexible. Without a list, you might waste time deciding what to do next. Prioritizing tasks on a list saves mental energy and boosts productivity.

Here is a simple daily routine:

  • Jot down 3-5 administrative tasks for the day, keeping it focused.
  • Prioritize them, putting the most important at the top.
  • Allocate specific time for paperwork and stick to it.
  • Review what you have accomplished each day and plan for the next.

Limiting tasks to five reduces stress and keeps you focused on the most important aspects of your work. 

  1. Take Care of Your Physical Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy emphasizes food, water, and sleep. Neglecting these can cause physical and mental illness.

Self-Care Tips for New Doctors Description
HydrationDrink water frequently. Carry a refillable bottle for convenience.
FootwearWear comfortable shoes to prevent blisters and soreness from walking.
StretchingIncorporate stretches to alleviate joint and back pain and boost energy.
Bathroom BreaksTake necessary breaks to attend to bodily functions.
NutritionEat regular meals and snacks to stay focused and replenished.
Fresh AirTake short breaks outdoors for fresh air and daylight to improve concentration and efficiency.
Switch Off RoutineEstablish a routine to unwind after shifts. Delegate tasks to clear your mind.
Rest and SleepPrioritize rest and explore resources for managing fatigue and sleep patterns.
ExerciseEngage in physical activity to relieve tension and take your mind off work.
Alcohol ConsumptionLimit alcohol use for stress relief. Seek help if using other substances.
Annual LeavePlan and utilize annual leave for rest and rejuvenation.
GP RegistrationRegister with a trusted GP to promptly address health concerns.
  1.  Maintain a Productivity Tracking System

Time is a precious resource, and being mindful of it helps us understand what makes us successful.

To measure progress, track your activities. For example:

  • How many hours are spent on paperwork each week?
  • What can be done to reduce that time?
  • Are daily to-do lists completed?
  • Are yesterday’s tasks finished today?

Start a daily routine of noting your top administrative priorities and whether they are achieved. If targets are not met consistently, consider what changes could help and try a new approach. Doctors spending 10 to 20 hours weekly on paperwork need a solid plan.

These productivity tips aid doctors in handling administrative tasks more effectively.

  1. Keep Distractions to a Minimum

Productivity hinges on having a clear plan and minimizing distractions. This tip is especially crucial for doctors, who must optimize their time effectively.

Doctors juggle many tasks, making distraction elimination seem daunting. However, carving out focused, uninterrupted time is key to tackling administrative duties efficiently. Creating a distraction-free environment involves:

  • Finding a quiet space.
  • Informing staff of your unavailability.
  • Switching your phone to airplane mode and turning off notifications.
  • Logging out of social media accounts.
  • Ensuring comfort with water, snacks, and soothing music.

While creating a distraction-free zone at the clinic may be challenging, adjusting your schedule can help. Consider arriving early or dedicating an hour at day’s end to focus solely on paperwork. Though it requires preparation and creativity, the benefits are substantial.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on your journey as a doctor brings excitement and challenges. For newbies, it is vital to prioritize both your well-being and efficiency in your practice. By heeding these pointers, you can zero in on your health and professional growth while tackling the challenges of being a new doctor.

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