4 New Year's resolutions for all doctors

Resolution

As each new year begins, people across the world look forward to the next 52 weeks with wide-eyed optimism. This is a moment for rebirth and rededication, a time to tackle those goals that somehow keep getting pushed back with every new calendar that's hung up. Doctors and other healthcare professionals share similar hopes for the future. But whereas some people want to lose weight or go back to school, a doctor's New Year's resolutions might focus on their own practice or how they engage with co-workers and patients alike.

Here are just some of the more common resolutions shared by doctors across the country:

"Some doctors feel inundated by screens at home and on the job."

  1. Listen more

Dr. Nina Shapiro is a professor of head and neck surgery at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Speaking with CBS News, she said that she'd like to use 2017 to do more listening and less time looking at screens. Shapiro believes she is inundated with screens everywhere she goes, at work and while home, and despite the access it affords, it doesn't give her time to take in what patients are saying. It's not just about recognizing the wants and needs of patients but providing more thorough care, which can be done with fewer distractions, according to Shapiro.

  1. Look outside the workplace

Another UCLA professor, Emanuel Maidenberg teaches psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. In a press release, he explained that he wants to spend time exploring interests outside of her medical practice and education. For him, that means a new hobby, and other UCLA staff shared similar interests - like learning to draw and paint or visiting more art museums and cultural centers. Proper work-life balance is essential, and having interests away from your work only makes you better focused and able to handle the load. Plus, you never know what new tidbit of knowledge may aid your work down the line.

  1. Take time for finances

Though picking up a new hobby is admirable, Physicians Practice noted that more doctors need to use the new year to focus on the finance aspect of their practice. That begins by having a better tax plan in place for both personal and business accounts. This is especially important as many doctors often pay more in taxes than they have to, and this should be a decision made based on your individual goals. As an extension of that, not enough doctors' financial plans address opportunity and risk and are only meant to react to certain economic crises. This is where all doctors should seek the advice of a financial expert, someone to guide them and help balance the books, as it were.

  1. Bond with patients

 

No matter the specialty, all doctors want to have a rapport with their patients. The start of a new year seems like the perfect time to develop that very meaningful relationship. As a doctor, you can act as both guide and cheerleader, helping patients stay on track as they exercise more or try to lower their blood pressure. It's for that very reason many doctors opt for similar health-centric resolutions; that way, patients have a model or signpost to follow in their own efforts. It may seem small, but this bonding experience can do wonders for your subsequent interactions with all of your patients.