Cultural awareness is an important part of your new practice. When starting your practice, it’s most important to remember that it’s hard. It’s hard to start making decisions for your patients, you will wake up at night thinking about your patients, you will spend long hours making sure that one medication was given the right way.
You will train your staff to be part of a team—and it’s ok. In that first year, you will make breakthroughs for yourself, you will figure out your own practice algorithms, and learn how to be more efficient and well rounded in your practice. When it’s time, it’s important cultivate a team-oriented, culturally aware staff.
Steps in working with your staff:
• Talk to your staff and have a team approach
• Schedule a weekly meeting, to talk about your mission and vision for your practice to be on the same page
• Give small rewards for someone who went above and beyond that day, and recognize in front of others
• Give constructive criticism in private to not overwhelm and damper morale of staff
It’s important to have cultural awareness:
• Ask patients who they are and what type of alternative practices they may use, what’s important to them
• Their backgrounds might be different from your own, they may have different concerns
• Separate your own thoughts from the patient, always direct your care towards them
Increase your cultural awareness:
• Explore other opportunities that are out there through AAD, Skin of Color Update (formerly SOCSS) and Skin of Color Society
• Information pamphlets that are available online
Ask your patients what’s important to them is the first step, and you will be able to develop wonderful patient-physician relationships.
Watch the video with Dr. Kundu above for more on the importance of running a team-oriented practice.