This is the sixth in the blogpost series answering the question:
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- First, make sure you have the basic requirements covered
- Then, preparation.
- You must enrich your foundation, pack a trail bag, and find your trail guides.
- Your first expeditions are to develop the basic stepping stones into successful hospital practice, shadowing and volunteering.
- These stepping stones are used throughout your hospital practice career to learn and grow. So, become familiar with these stones and do not neglect how much easier they make crossing streams or rivers vs. wading in without a trail guide or path to follow.
Shadow = a unique and very old tradition of clinical observation, often short-term. Not the same as an internship.
EAM = East Asian Medicine. Broad term that includes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and related disciplines.
EAMP, and L.Ac. = terms for a practitioner who has completed an ACAOM-accredited master's or doctorate program and has a current state license. EAMP = East Asian Medicine Practitioner. L.Ac. = Licensed Acupuncturist. L.Ac. is the most common state license title in the U.S.
MD = medical doctor, physician
As a new employee, Shadow Your Team before you start Clinical Work
|Megan taking a walk around the swan pond
at Madigan Army Medical Center.
For new hospital employees, while your paperwork is being processed and you are in that limbo zone where you are hired but can’t treat patients until all the boxes are checked, this is the ideal time to shadow everyone in the department you work in. Everyone.
Because, once you start treating patients, getting time for this is next to impossible. Shadowing everyone in your department, whether it is a couple hours or a whole day, gets you the best insight into what your colleagues are doing.
Shadowing everyone in your department gets you the best insight into what your colleagues are doing and how your clinic functions. From this information, you will be able to better understand how your skills are a best fit, not just for the clinic's mission, but for your specific team.
Shadowing your clinic team helps you learn how all the pieces of the engine fit and work together.
This experience helped me understand the framework of the referral system both within the outpatient clinic I worked in and the pre-program prep the patients went through before entering the full interdisciplinary therapy program.
It helped me see how what I was doing was synergizing with the other practitioners’ work. This, combined with the occasional lunch chat, helped me better understand not just the unique discipline of each of my colleagues, but the way he or she specifically practiced it.
Shadowing helped me see how my skill set could best synergize with the specific skill sets of my clinic team members.
Review the previous posts in this series
- Basic education and licensing requirements before applying for hospital-practice work
- Benefits of shadowing healthcare practitioners
- Pack Your Trail Bag--tools you need for the journey and how to develop stepping stones
- Find Your Trail Guide--the importance of having hospital-based practice mentors and an introduction to the stepping stones of shadowing/clinical observation and hospital-based volunteer work
- What to Expect on Your Shadow Day
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Today's resource recommendations
- Review the previous posts in this series (see the list in above paragraph)
- The importance of good team work. How a healthy team has better outcomes--> The Daily Show team example, a TED podcast,
- "how great teams put out great work, consistently."
- For more about Team Work and being an employee, check out these resources:
- Leadership post
- Gift ideas for the provider starting hospital practice--includes community favorites, RFID-blocking wallet options for your ID card and YETI mugs.
- The public Facebook page is currently running a theme, "Leadership Mondays" with resources for working as a team member as well as leading an integrative health/integrative medicine team/clinic.
- WorkLife podcast with Adam Grant, a TED podcast
- Recommendations for learning more about integrative medicine/health in hospital practice, team work, and related topics on your lunch break.
- Want to learn more about the movement of integrative medicine into mainstream medicine?
- Sign up for the Hospital-practice Handbook Project email newsletter
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