MomMD Blogs

Blogs for women in medicine which cover topics such as health, medical school applications, pediatrician moms, physician success, childcare and many other thoughts for women in medicine.

The contemporary career map of an entrepreneurial physician

I am a big believer in evolution. Of the world, of the human being over the span of a life, of a professional career. As a current entrepreneurial physician and business owner, with a zig zagging career spanning more than 25 years, I'm acutely aware that to thrive, I must evolve. When I was a kid, our family doctor was a crusty, opinionated, spry man who loved his patients and who'd given his life to his general practice. I recall him sitting at my brother's bedside for an entire night during an attack of croup, ready to do a tracheotomy if needed... as he later confided to my mom. He......
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a single step

I have been blessed with an inherent sense of personal responsibility, finely honed by my environment as a child.  I learned at an early age that my actions and decisions carry meaning and consequence.  This is a trait that has served me well over the years, at times providing opportunity to grow through recognition of my own failings, and at others freeing me from shouldering responsibility where it was not mine to carry.  Personal responsibility is an important value that I strive to pass on to my children and one I am proud to see developing in Teenage Boy.  Financial responsibility is an ......
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Sales expertise is a must have for entrepreneurial physicians

I can feel the collective shudder from all you physician entrepreneur wannabes at the mere mention of the word "sales". Personal experience has taught me just how uncomfortable marketing and sales are for physicians, and for most professionals in general. And yet, if you want to succeed in business as an entrepreneurial physician, you must learn to sell! There, I've said that dirty word. Rule 8 of Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How 3 Harvard Business School graduates learned the 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship" is Learn To Sell. In fact, Murphy feels so strongly......
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Five attitudes to achieving physician satisfaction

I began participating in Professor Rao's three-month Creativity and Personal Mastery program last weekend and, even now, I find my mind drifting back to the deep, insightful conversations our small group engaged in. Our focus was happiness – what is it? Where does it come from? And how can we create it for ourselves? The underlying question we were grappling with is "How can we live a life of joy in the face of all the stresses of our everyday existences?" Pretty heavy stuff – hey? Since I derived so much value from the discussion, I decided to share some of our insights with you. If you t......
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For happiness at your physician business try the five ways to wellbeing

I was inspired to create this post title by a new article that came out in the online Harvard Business Review today – "Happiness and Your Company." By now, my readers know of my fascination with the topic of what makes humans happy and specifically what makes physicians happy at work! This seems an especially relevant topic, given that all indicators suggest rising unhappiness in the physician workplace. What is particularly interesting to note is how governments and nations are beginning to recognize the economic significance and impact of happiness and well-being at work. This perspec......
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It hurts so good

I've come to the conclusion that internal medicine residency is precisely 273 days too long. Yes, there is more to learn. At this point in training, however, the protective womb of attendings can start to become a bit suffocating. Like the last month of pregnancy, the end of residency is perhaps meant to be painful in some ways - it does make a person really really want it to be over, therefore making the pain of transition a little less. By now, many of my classmates have decided exactly what they will be doing 274 days from now. I'm still having a bit of an identity crisis, and every time ......
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Change for physicians: eating the elephant one spoon at a time

As a physician who has been through multiple personal and professional changes, I have learned to tackle the immensity of big change just like the old joke, "How do you eat an elephant? One spoon at a time." Even now, as uncertainty swirls in the air with a wildly bucking stock market, talk of a double-dip recession, and the ever-looming threat of healthcare reform, I recognize my own business needs to adapt to circumstances and to undergo yet more change. So, rather than sitting by idly with my fingers crossed and hoping for the best, I am scanning the horizon for new opportunities... Wh......
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Are you ready to make some workflow changes at your medical practice?

There is one medical practice I dread visiting as I am guaranteed a 45 minute wait, worse in winter. As I sit there fuming with impatience, the "medical practice coach" in me is busy critiquing the details of how patients are greeted, how phone calls are handled, how long we are left sitting in the exam room after vitals are taken and how much eye contact is made during our check-in and check-out. All I can say is there's room for improvement! Here's what lousy medical practice workflow looks like (mentally check off anything that applies to your practice): the patient is put on hold f......
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The secrets of effective decision-making

An area that creates some of the greatest "stuckness" in my work of coaching physicians is that of decision-making. My own experience of making up my mind has taught me that the period of analysis, fantasy, wishful thinking, and whatever else goes into decision-making, is fraught with anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Once I've made my decision, I typically feel like a huge burden has been lifted and I'm ready to face the consequences of my choice. I experienced this angst earlier this year when it became apparent that my daughter wasn't thriving at school, and appeared to require a new......
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Learning to read in the digital age, where fun comes easy

A childhood studies expert weighs in on picture book apps, whistles and bells, and John Newbery's book marketing in 1744.
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Simple favors

Today, in an effort to make more than we spend for once, I started working extra shifts for a company who does social security disability exams. I do not decide whether a claimant is disabled, I merely compile the history and physical exam so that someone else who will never see the claimant can make the decision. It was an interesting day, and some of the claimants had been waiting months for their exam. I have just a few thoughts for everyone out there needing objective documentation of the functional limitations they have which may qualify them for federal funding. Please, when you show......
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Hone your leadership skills as a physician business owner

Okay - it's time to talk physician leadership since we're up to Rule # 7 of Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur" - this Rule is Learn to Lead. The course that had the greatest impact on me during my Masters in Public Health program was "Healthcare Leadership". As we were debating and learning about the skills that good leaders exhibit, it struck me that we physicians had very little training in what it took to be effective as the person in commanisd of the show. Shortly thereafter, in my role as Medical Director of our local hospital, I campaigned successfully to set up a phy......
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Rutgers Scholar on Reading in the Digital Age

A Rutgers scholar discusses learning to read in the digital age.
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Money is something every entrepreneurial physician business owner needs!

A common "biggest question" I hear from many an entrepreneurial physician and business owner is "Where can I get the funds to grow my practice or business?" Starting an entrepreneurial physician venture is risky, but an even more risky period in the life span of your business is when it's time to expand. Your schedule is full, you have waiting lists for new clients, patients or customers, you're constantly working in the business and lack time to work on it. Your only options are to say No or to scale up. Rule # 6 in the "Intelligent Entrepreneur" by Bill Murphy Jr. is "Manage Risk" (you......
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Is the receptionist at your medical practice worth his or her weight in gold?

The value of gold is high right now, so when we're talking about a medical practice receptionist whose worth is equal to that of gold, we're talking about an employee of your practice who is a genuine asset. A recent article in the New York Times celebrated these folks as your "unsung heroes at the front line of patient care." What does this "golden" medical practice receptionist look like, and what does she do to earn such kudos? (I'm defaulting to the feminine as most of the medical receptionists I know seem to be women). Your receptionist is a "touch point" for your medical practice......
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concession to the grocery store woman

For the last many years of my medical training, I have grown accustomed to intermittent feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty.  As perpetual learners, most physicians balance medical knowledge with some degree of uncertainty and "is this the right treatment path for this patient?", as every patient-diagnosis pair is unique and most don't fit tidily into treatment algorithms.  In fact, we are taught to deal with uncertainty and self-doubt in medicine so that these feelings don't cripple decision-making or cause unnecessarily and potentially harmfully conservative treatment plans or overuse of ......
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Dublin App Developers Living the Fairy Tale

Dublin's Aidan Doolan and Ideal Binary producing delightful picture book apps based on Grimm's fairy tales.
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Taking the work out of networking

I was never taught how to network. In fact, the concept was completely alien to me until I began my physician coaching business. Back in 1988, when I joined my medical practice, word was "to grow your practice, you should get to know the other docs by hanging out in the doctor's lounge at the two hospitals that you belong to". So, despite not being much of a coffee drinker, I'd go to the doctors' lounges early in the morning or at lunch and force myself to sit with people and strike up a conversation. Some days it felt awkward or even painful! I didn't know it but I was engaging in "business ......
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juice box days

Today just as I grew annoyed picking up the endless pile of juice boxes that seem to multiply in my car's depths, it dawned on me.  No more sippy cups.  I have long ago out-grown the days of sippy cups. I hated them.  Why could I never find the correct sippy cup valve anyway?  And, how many long lost sippy cups did I find over the years with a potently smelling mixture inside?  No matter how much I scrubbed those cups I could not get out the smell.    I am glad to be done with them.  But where did sippy cup days go? And, as I reflected further -- I realized more items have quietly slipped aw......
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The Best Picture Book Apps for Your Kids

Recommended picture book apps for the digital kids in your life.
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