There’s a few things that medical schools fail to teach medical students. Some things you just learn by experience, ie. from your own life or from just seeing the same things over and over and over again. And there are things that you are either good at or not.
1. How to counsel a first-time mother who’s completely stressed out that her 1 month old infant sleeps all day and is up all night.
2. How to show said first-time mother how to get her infant to latch. Breastfeeding is fucking hard!
3. How not to keep your patients waiting.
4. How to run a business. A business? Say again?
5. How to hire a good secretary.
6. How to manage an efficient office.
It’s the last three that are really what this post is about. I share an office with two other physicians. Actually, I joined their practice 5 years ago. Since then, we’ve hired one additional secretary, who is, for all intents and purposes, totally useless. Let’s call her Rosemary. Okay, so that’s not really fair. Rosemary knows how to scan documents and doing the e-filing. But that’s about it. She isn’t very good with the phones, can only do one task at a time, and when trying to talk to her it’s like talking to a brick wall. So, you might ask, why did we hire her? For the life of me, I can honestly say, I have no fucking idea. I think, back then, we were looking for someone to do filing, work on referrals and hoped that the person would grow into the job and eventually take over as primary receptionist as our current gem is nearing retirement age and would like to start cutting back her hours. But this is not the person we got. So, the hunt began and we put an ad in the local papers, did a few interviews and met a lovely woman who we decided to hire. How the hard work starts. We need to cut back Rosemary’s hours so that our new secretary takes over the roles of answering phones, working on referrals etc. The kicker? We haven’t exactly told Rosemary that this is happening. Oh, she knows that the new girl was hired, but she doesn’t really know we are cutting her hours. Ugh! Where was this class in medical school? Seriously!
I got into medicine to be a DOCTOR, not a boss, not a manager, not a small business owner. But this is exactly what I’ve become and I can honestly say, it’s the part I hate most. I’m not good at it. I’d like to be, but it’s just not in my nature.