Doctors usually don’t have a hard time finding a job after university. So if you’re a young doctor, then you might not see the need to network. But networking is much more important than just landing a job.
Lots of hard work and diligent study habits got you to where you are today. Maybe you didn’t need connections a relationships to get where you are.
You still need to build and maintain a professional network.
A professional network strengthens your positive reputation.
It is said “your network is your net worth”, and this is certainly true in the medical industry. Having great relationships will bolster the recommendations and referees on your CV when you go for the next big job, it will help you get promoted and enhance your position in your industry.
And it works when the pressure is on, too.
All it takes is one negative experience to leave a stain on your reputation as a medical professional. Even a small misunderstanding or thoughtless comment can get your professional career off to a bad start.
Considering all the things that could cause a career setback, a strong network will help ensure your reputation is on strong foundations.
Networking generates referrals.
And every medical practice needs more referrals! Your value to your employer isn’t just because you’re a great doctor (sorry, but that’s the truth). If you’re bringing in more and more patients, you’re a commercial asset.
This may not seem important, or difficult, when you’re starting out. But the sooner you start building your referral networks the better. Networking and making those important connections, both within the industry and those outside of the industry with links to your target market, is a crucial way to draw in more business.
When you put forth the small initial effort to connect with other professionals and build a relationship, it makes a big difference. They’ll remember you because you made the effort, and because you fostered a connection they’ll think of you when they need to refer patients out to someone with your expertise.
Networking keeps you in-tune with industry developments.
When you network as a new doctor, you have the opportunity to learn from those who are pioneers and industry leaders. You’ll gain valuable insights that will help you continue to grow as a professional.
After all, a doctor’s education doesn’t end upon completing medical school. Learning from peers is a great (and free) way to continue to develop.
Pay attention to what others are saying and doing so that you and your practice don’t get left behind. What you learn will help you to continue providing high quality care to your patients, and manage your practice better. You may even benefit personally by learning how your peers deal with the challenges of the profession and avoid burnout.
You may need to step away from practice for a while to care for family responsibilities. A disaster could cause a financial setback. You might have to relocated to an area that’s beyond the reach of your current network. You might be laid off by the clinic. You may one day decide to branch out into private practice and start working for yourself.
In any case, it’s clear that life is unpredictable. And it is friends in the industry that help get you back on your feet, and your career back on track.
Networking tips for doctors.
Get out of the office once in a while.
Get to know your kids’ teachers, go to social events and volunteer in community projects. It’s healthy and wise to form ties with professionals in other industries. Be open to new possibilities and make the time for those opportunities to happen by getting out there and networking.
Talk about your passions more than about your accomplishments.
Networking doesn’t mean bragging about all that you’ve done. Boasting will only bore people and put them off. Rather, networking is about bonding or connecting over some shared factor and developing mutual respect, acknowledging that you can help one another. Present yourself as a resource rather than as a trophy when you network.
Attend trade industry conferences.
You’ll learn new things and meet new people who could help you with things like practice management and finances or implementing new procedures. Join professional associations which put on key events.
Get advice you can count on.
A successful career as a doctor starts with getting the right advice, as early as possible. Let’s talk about your financial plan.
Contact Nitschke Nancarrow, specialists in accounting, financial planning, investment and business for medical practice owners and medical professionals. We operate in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Australia. Managing partner Kym Nitschke is available for a free initial discussion about your situation. Call us on (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email.
– Kym Nitschke
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