As I reflect on 2018, several recurring themes are apparent. Most notably, I received a disproportionate number of inquiries from clients seeking guidance on selling their practice. Although consolidation in ophthalmology has been gaining momentum, the activity in 2018 was unprecedented. This activity is creating uncertainty for physicians, managers and staff.
Many experts express a concern that these transactions may run the risk of upsetting historical norms of practice while potentially adversely impacting practice culture. There are more questions than answers now. Some of the more common ones include: Is this a trend or a passing fad? How will a sale to a financial investor impact staff and patient care? Will team members be at risk for getting terminated? Will someone from “corporate” be telling us what to do and how to do it? How will a “takeover” impact the administrator and other members of the management team?
If your doctors have sold the practice or may be considering a sale, it is easy to get caught up in the hallway chatter about such a transaction. My best advice is to “own what you own.” The truth is, you are plenty busy and have little time for in-office drama or politics. Focus on what you can control: your attitude, relations with co-workers, your professional development, the quality of the experience you deliver to the next patient on the schedule.
So, as we welcome in the New Year, resolve to focus on the things within your control. Here is my list:
- Increase “currency” with the people who matter the most. Invest in relationships by focusing on the little things matter that the most such as simple expressions of gratitude, as well as the smile on your face.
- Practice on improving listening skills. When communicating with others, slow down, focus on the person, acknowledge their ideas, and explore their point of view. All of us are guilty at one time or another of skipping many important aspects of effective communication.
- Be more flexible and adaptable. Being set in our ways and not open to other opinions stunts our growth as people. By opening ourselves up to others, we have a greater opportunity for self-improvement and happiness.
- Learn to react less to the people and things that may be a source of stress or frustration. When something is not going our way, we will most likely be happier if we take a pause, reflect and remember to breathe.
As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of Ophthalmic Professional. Here’s to a successful and very Happy New Year in 2019! OP