As a physician, you can be a catalyst for change in your care team and your practice. Here are six qualities of a healthy practice culture and how to cultivate them in yourself and your colleagues today:
1. Service. This involves not only providing services to patients but also serving one another on the care team. Regularly check in with your team members to ask how things are going and what they need, and look for opportunities to personally point out a job well done.
2. Teamwork. Connecting with each other as coworkers and teammates requires presence and awareness, not only knowing each other by title and role but also knowing about each other — your strengths, limitations, challenges, joys, motivations, goals, and dreams.
3. Attitude. Emotions can be contagious. Check your own attitude regularly and consider how it might be affecting your team. Regularly look for opportunities to see challenges in a positive light, and express this perspective.
4. Reflection. In the busyness of medical practice, it can be easy to forget why you were called to health care as a profession in the first place. Deliberately carving out time, as an individual and as a team, to reflect on your work and reconnect to meaning, purpose, and professional identity are important ways to stay calibrated and grounded.
5. Renewal. Given all of the hassles that are part of your daily work, deliberate, regular “uplifts” are essential to creating a positive, thriving practice culture. These can include simply taking a work break, having fun while you work, and celebrating team successes.
6. Self-care. A key part of creating a thriving practice culture is to live a healthy lifestyle and encourage others to do likewise. This includes attending to how you eat, move, sleep, relax, and stay present and connected. Carving out time for self-care isn't selfish; it's a necessity.
Adapted from "How to Create a Culture of Well-Being in Your Practice."
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