The first thing every health professional can do in order to achieve balance in your life and career is to stop thinking that you have to do it alone and begin to think TEAM.  Having a team allows you to take a deep breath when things get hectic, knowing that you can rely on your team members to pitch in and keep the momentum flowing as you move closer to your dreams.

We often don’t think about having a team in our lives, yet they are everywhere.  In our work environment, there are people around us that support the flow of  patients from registration to triage to seeing the medical practitioner to disposition.  In our personal lives our teams are made up of our family and friends  including our  children. 

The question is, are you making the most of your teams? Are you encouraging your team members to work and function in their brilliance so that they may shine as well? Or, are you micromanaging so much that they cannot achieve their own level of success?

Each time I attend a C-section I observe a successful team in action.  Each team member knows their role in the mission of providing optimum medical care to the mother and her newborn.  The obstetrician who leads the team allows each member to operate in his or her brilliance to ensure patient safety.  They follow a plan from scrubbing and sterilizing the mother’s abdomen, to performing time-out to beginning the procedure.   Once the newborn has been delivered there are steps to take  before the surgical site is closed.

There is a lot to learn  from observing teams that  function well.

1.    They have a mission statement..  Every team member is aware of the mission and acts in accordance with fulfilling the mission.

2.    There is a clear plan with defined roles for the team members.

3.    Contingency plans are in place  should something unexpected arise.

4.    Clear communication is essential.  Team members speak in calm, clear voices so that requests can be heard by all members.

5.    They stay committed to the plan until the goal is achieved.

6.    They celebrate the completion of the task at hand.

As you focus on creating a life and career in medicine that you can really love and enjoy, it is essential to take a team approach to achieving your goals. 

1.    Create a mission statement for your personal and professional life. 

2.    Identify the members on your team.  Know their strengths and areas of excellence.

3.    Brainstorm what may take you off course.  Have contingency plans in place.  Learn to enjoy the detours.

4.    Share your dreams and desires with trusted team members so that they can champion you.

5.    Believe in yourself.  Know that you can go the distance.

6.    Along the way  celebrate the victories, big and small.

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