Associates, don't fear change. Embrace it.

Associates, don't fear change. Embrace it.

Jun 01, 2008

For several years, Dr. Smith had wanted to buy a surgical laser, and finally his budget had room for the purchase. Excited, he sent a letter to all of the practice's clients, as well as new neighborhood residents, announcing the service. His associate, Dr. Jones, had pushed for purchasing other equipment instead. And she was less than thrilled when the new laser arrived. Both doctors received training from the manufacturer, but Dr. Jones didn't take it seriously—or pay much attention. Dr. Smith wasn't confident in Dr. Jones' ability to use the laser, so he instructed the receptionists to schedule laser surgeries on his surgery days only. Any opportunity for the two doctors to work as a team promoting the new service was lost. Frustrated, Dr. Jones eventually quit.

Guess what: As an associate, your role during periods of change is bigger than you may think. Dr. Jones could've handled this situation differently, don't you agree? Sure, she pushed for purchasing other equipment, but once it was decided to purchase the laser, what if she had been determined to learn all about it? What if, in addition to the manufacturer's training, she also took a two-week online CE course on laser physics, safety, and surgical use? The situation might have played out quite a bit differently if she embraced the decision.

Three big changes occurring in many veterinary practices these days are the addition of new services and products, the modification of vaccine protocols, and the hiring of a practice manager. While your boss is the one to sign off on these weighty management decisions, you're an important impetus for change. So how can you learn and grow as a doctor in these situations? How will change affect the way you practice medicine? You can bring new and fresh ideas to the table and help make those changes—and the practice—a success.

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