by : Nushift
Most physicians think to consider networking to be important because of two main reasons – job openings, and referrals. Although attending networking events, making connections with other physicians, and keeping up with conferences or seminars are wonderful ways that will get out your name to the doctors in your community who might be interested in hiring you or might pass your name to the patients, but there are also plenty of other reasons to network.
When you talk to the other physicians in your community, you get a chance to get, not only referrals or learn about job openings in your field, but you also get to know about some of the new ways of practising, get advice from the doctors who have taken professional career leaps that you might also consider in the future or for mentorship. These days, it is also important that physicians make meaningful connections with their colleagues that will help them in the future. There are several ways to get started:
You need to stay in touch
The experience of working with someone does not have to end when you leave the practice. The easiest way to network is to make an effort to keep in touch with your colleagues from school, previous employers, as well as residency positions. While you might not have seen some of these physicians in a while, if you enjoyed working together then you would surely want to catch them up later. You can also send them an email, message them on social networking sites like LinkedIn, or even connect over the phone. They will also likely be happy to hear from you. If you connect with them again, it will naturally lead to talking about professional things as both of you are in the same profession.
Make the Effort
It is surely very important to maintain relationships after working with someone but it is all the more important to make the relationship worth remembering in the first place. You might not be a very social person. Small gestures like holding the door, remembering someone’s name, or even saying good morning – are easy ways to show kindness. You need not be best friends with everyone. It is however quite natural that in your practice, you will likely refer to a physician who you like and with whom you will feel comfortable. Therefore, you can also assume that other physicians will do the same.
Attend or Organize Events
You will mostly see that busy physicians and social introverts might not be able to meet the other doctors, but attending conferences, golf tournaments, or holiday parties can also provide excellent networking opportunities. Showing up even for a short amount of time is a worthwhile investment in your professional network. You can also think a little out of the box like forming a book club, playing a recreational sport, or even planning another fun activity. This way, you will be able to bring in people and having shared interests will make the conversation flow much easier.
If you find it difficult to initiate conversation at networking events, don’t worry – you can also ask questions about the specialities of other people. Talking about their interests, or career paths will be able to take away the pressure from you. You will also get some time to think about what you want to say. This also helps in breaking the ice and also get the other person talking. Moreover, this will also allow you to gain valuable professional information and you will also be able to find out what opportunities or career paths others are taking. This will give you some ideas about yourself. It is essential for you to listen to the answers carefully, and also ask you follow-up questions to show that will prove that you are engaged in the conversation.
Tell a Great Story
People love to hear personal stories. The stories of the doctors are also much more exciting. Rather than just talking about your achievements, it would be good, if you could talk about something more interesting that happened to you. This will help in breaking the ice and other doctors will also remember you. This will come in handy in case you need to use the connection later on for referrals or job openings.
Very important for you to be yourself
There is a very high possibility that you decided to become a doctor because you think that you are a good fit for your personality and it is also highly possible that the rest of the doctors in the room did the same thing! All physicians are indeed different. But the combination of passion and the work ethic that is required to get where you are is something you have in common. So you should not worry about trying to stand out or fit in. Being yourself is the best way that will help you to connect with colleagues, especially if you are passionate about what you do.
You might not be the biggest social butterfly, but networking for doctors is a great opportunity that will help you to connect professionally. This will also help you to meet like-minded people and will also allow you to connect around your shared passion for medicine. Talking to other healthcare professionals can be a lot of fun. Chatting will help you to get referrals and job opportunities. It will also provide you with options for mentorship, will provide you advice on different career paths, and will also help you to know about the ways to expand your practice.