Consider these medical career resolutions for 2022

By Lara Becker
Published December 17, 2021

Key Takeaways

As 2022 approaches, the number of new gym memberships is rising before the champagne even gets popped. But a new you in the New Year may require more than signing a contract at your local Planet Fitness. Have you considered a physician-specific resolution? Here are six ideas you can use to improve your career in the New Year.

Leave your work in the office

EHRs have eroded the traditional boundary between work and home for many physicians. Maybe 2022 is the year you commit to doing whatever it takes to limit the amount of charting you do during your personal time. There are a few ways you can improve your office efficiency. Have you considered working with a virtual medical assistant? Virtual medical assistants can improve office workflow, and can lend a helping hand without overcrowding the office. Additionally, streamline your time in the office through small daily tactics. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has some great suggestions: Start your day as on time as possible, dictate your notes as soon as the patient leaves your office, or perhaps don’t pull a chart for every single patient.

Workshop your leadership skills

Are there systems or processes that you encounter in your day-to-day work that could be improved? Maybe it’s time to offer your own solutions and step into a leadership role. “In order to succeed, physician leaders need enough training to know what questions to ask, what they’ll need from others, and what potential strategies they can use,” says Mary C. Finlay, MBA and Program Director of Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers, which is a course for physicians to discuss their ideas on transitioning to leadership positions. Perhaps attending a conference such as this can help you brainstorm ways in which you can take charge.

Improve the security of your data and your patients’ data

WIFI and interoperability are essential to modern medicine. But both pose significant security risks to your data and the data of your patients. Although EHRs are taking medical records into the future, experts such as Christian Scott of GoVanguard, a cybersecurity firm, say healthcare is one of the most vulnerable targets for hackers. Scott urges physicians and staff members to be wary of phishing emails, which hackers use to bait the recipient into giving up private information, or clicking a link containing malware. He says that staff members should be on high alert to make sure that emails and links they click are credible, and from their internal organization only. Other precautions include using dual-factor authentication; creating strong, unique passwords; avoiding solicitations from outside your organization; and not leaving emails in your inbox for too many days.

Schedule more self-care time

Self-care is more than putting on a face mask, or rewarding yourself with a beer at the end of the day. Schedule some self-care time each day to ensure it happens. Perhaps adopt some breathing exercises into your daily routine, pick up beginner’s meditation, try  yoga for peace of mind, or take up journaling. 

Check in on patient satisfaction

For better or worse, patient satisfaction scores are becoming increasingly important—especially since they became tied to reimbursement. While their utility is a matter of debate and research, they can at least offer some insights as to how you might improve your practice. If improving patient satisfaction scores is a priority for you in 2022, you might consider:

  • Emphasizing patient educations during encounters

  • Being mindful of the spiritual aspects of care that may be a priority for your patients

  • When they’re present—and when it’s legally and ethically possible to do so—looping family and friends into the care process.

You can read more about how to improve patient satisfaction scores in this recent MDLinx post.

Develop five goals for yourself in 2022

Before midnight on January 1, take a few minutes to write down your professional goals. Be as specific and detailed as possible. Research suggests clear descriptions improve your odds of success. You can use the suggestions in this post, or come up with your own goals. The American Psychological Association offers insights for improving your odds of success. According to the APA, effective professional goals should include a basis for motivation. Sound professional goals should also be clear about the effort to be expended to achieve them, and include required guidelines or cues. “Goal setting is effective only if individuals concerned are aware of what is to be accomplished and accept the goals for themselves, believing in their attainability,” the APA wrote. Want to improve the success rate of your personal resolution? Check out this article on research-based methods of improving your New year’s resolutions.

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