I’m writing today to capture my experiences during the past several months when it comes to being a new doctor.
We go through school thinking we’re doing the “right things”. I.e. studying for exams, sleeping, and taking time for ourselves to catch a breath amidst all the deadlines. Along the way, we attend extra classes such as those for business and we get caught thinking we have “enough” time to make life decisions. In one regard, that’s true if you are of the mind-set that life will take you where you need to be without too much planning. However, from another point of view some planning is required to avoid missing certain opportunities.
When I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Lethbridge there was significant communication regarding resume writing, job opportunities and career guidance. One of the the things I found severely missed from Bastyr University. Yes, there were classes in networking, marketing, and accounting to name a few, but really no guidance on what it is like to be a new doctor and the expectations around being an entrepreneur.
So, much of what I’ve learned over the past few months has been that of trial and error. As a Canadian citizen, living in the US I have learned that staying in the US requires one of two avenues: 1) getting married or 2) applying for permanent residency through having a business sponsor the application. What I’ve learned through this experience is that I needed to be much better networked in order to have more then one option available. I needed to find doctors/clinics where there was a potential for hiring rather than staying at one clinic (although very valuable) and limiting my opportunities. I needed to recognize the cost of the application (~$8000) is an investment in my future rather than stressing about the money. I’m not stressing about the “should haves”, but rather looking at it from the perspective of providing insight to other students in ND programs in Canada and the US.
In summary, I’m encouraging you to find mentors that you feel are successful and those that practice the way you’d like to practice. Also enlist a business coach and career coach to provide the supportive, encouraging environment for major life decisions.