Now that you’ve hopefully signed that great contract and are ready to transition from student to doc

Here are just a few tips to get you started off on the right foot.

1. Show up! Ridiculous, right? But, seriously, so many people may “show up” but are not completely engaged. Take care of your personal business before you get to work. Grab your caffeine on your way to work but be prepared to work as soon as your workday begins. Don’t come dragging in 10 minutes late and spend the beginning of your day socializing, getting properly dressed and/or doing anything other than be productive. Hit the ground running.

2. Develop a habit of showing up to work a few minutes early. It will probably impress people and give you a few extra minutes to look over your schedule and plan your day.

3. Begin immediately to set your posture with the support staff. I know a young man who on one of his first days of his internship saw a puddle of urine on the floor and since everyone was busy except for him, he grabbed the mop and began mopping the floor. The place went quiet and people paused what they were doing and stared. “What?” he asked. “Doctors don’t mop the floor here,” someone responded. “Well this one did because everyone but me was busy and it needed to be done.” Guess who with one act gained the respect of the support staff? Conversely, I know a doctor who when walking past a dirty smelly cage said, “I’m glad I’m a doctor and don’t have to clean that mess up!” Can you guess which staff was absent when the doctor needed some assistance? Right, the doctor who inadvertently (I hope) insulted her support staff in just a few seconds. Your career will to a large degree depend on your support staff. Always appreciate what they do- and let them know it too.

4. Realize that since you are now a signed associate, you will be expected to earn your keep. Be productive. When you have downtime, offer to help the staff do their job. Find something to do. Learn. Be useful but above all, be appreciative, humble, and kind to others. Many practices have high maintenance individuals that drag the practice and the owner down. Don’t be that person.

5. Dress appropriately on your 1st day. If you haven’t received information regarding how to dress for work from a handbook or policy manual, be proactive and find out. 

6. Even if you’ve been introduced to everyone, make a genuine attempt to connect with the staff, including the front desk and kennel staff. 

7. Ask questions if you are unsure of something. The staff is there to help you 

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