What the next generation of gastroenterologists should know

Three gastroenterologists recently connected with Becker's to share what new physicians should know.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. If you would like to contribute to our next question, please email Paige Haeffele at phaeffele@beckershealthcare.com.

Question: What are three things that all new physicians should know?

Shaibal Mazumdar, MD. Gastroenterologist at Aurora Health Care (Menomonee Falls, Wis.): 

1. Medicine is a team sport. Create a culture where you respect, appreciate and value people; encourage critical thinking so that you can recruit and retain the best people around you, e.g. nurses, techs, nurse practitioners, PAs, etc; they will create value with good patient outcomes. Have strategic clarity along with empathic communication in your practice.

2. Be curious about the technological disruptions in medicine, including AI, quantum computing, telehealth, etc. It will change the way we practice medicine in the future.

3. Practice gratitude and self-care, including organized downtime with family, friends, hobbies, etc.

Nina Phatak, MD. Gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Associates (Warrenton, Va.): This is the advice I wish someone had told me when I was starting out:

1. Understand the business side of medicine. It's not something that's routinely taught at any point in one's training, but it is vital to understand regardless of whether you work in a private practice, hospital or managed care setting. 

2. Understand the importance of networking and building a community. Medicine at times can be a very lonely profession. It helps to build solid relationships that will help sustain you over the course of your career.

3. Make sure you join a practice/department with like-minded physicians. You will be spending a lot of time with these individuals, and having a supportive, collegial work environment will quickly become the most important factor in your decision to stay in a practice/job.

4. Take all your vacations and be truly present for your family when you are away from work. It will prevent burnout and maintain the longevity of your career.

Sheldon Taub, MD. Gastroenterologist at Jupiter (Fla.) Medical Center: There are several things that all new physicians should know, but most importantly, they must be ethically responsible to themselves and others. They must be resilient and adaptable, now more than ever, and be able to effectively communicate and have the capacity for improvement.

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