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7 tips for new doctors

young doctors in class

Part of becoming a doctor is learning how to cope with the immense pressure that comes with the job. Fortunately, getting advice from those who have gone before—as well as other members of the health care team—can make the process a little easier. Recently, ACOG shared advice from experienced health care professionals geared toward new doctors—such as how to manage the workload, practice self-care, and learn from your team. In response to these valuable tips, Sermo physicians weighed-in with their thoughts, ideas and advice for new doctors.  

In a poll of 300+ global Sermo physicians, 95% said being dynamic and flexible is an essential part of being a doctor; and 67% said their career is different than they expected it to be. Ninety-six percent said their practice has evolved significantly since they started medicine; and 94% say they notice a difference between doctors starting their careers now compared to when they started. Eighty-three percent say they continue to consult and connect with peers and/or a mentor.  

When asked what tips Sermo doctors would give to new doctors, here’s what they had to say, in their own words:  

Remember that you are treating human beings, someone’s mother/father, daughter/son, sister/brother. How would you treat you? Don’t take short cuts. Don’t let non-physicians make clinical decisions. Stand up for your patients and your profession. Don’t feel forced to be politically correct. Call out stupidity when you see it.

Emergency Medicine, U.S.

I tell Residents to work from their first day practicing Medicine until their last day doing everything possible to keep government OUT of Medicine.

Orthopedic Surgery, U.S.

Practice the 3 A’s in this order: Be Affable, Available and Able. Compassion is not over rated.

Dermatology, U.S.

Do whatever you need to do to maintain control over your work world. Don’t overextend yourself financially. Maintain a healthy balance in your life with family, friends, activities and hobbies. Finally, know when it’s time to quit.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U.S.

“To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always (Anon).”

General Surgery, U.S.

Be less technical and more human.

Obstetrics & Gynecology, France

Dear New Doctor

1) Forget about EMR. Remember, you are a physician. Doctor in Latin means TEACHER. Spend time getting to know, listen to and touching your patients than trying to input info into a worthless EMR system. 

2) Make every patient feel special. When was the last time you ever told a patient that they made YOUR DAY? 

3) Communicate with specialists. Dont just fed x your patients to someone they dont know. Your specialists must also communicate with you. Remember, sometimes specialists and PCPs dont always agree, but the two of you can work it out for the benefit of the patient. 

4) Always remember, there is ALWAYS something you can do as a physician to improve one’s life.  

5) Doctors can’t always cure, but we can heal. 

Best of luck to you. 


Physician with 38 years of experience

Diabetology, U.S.