For college students going into a professional field, networking is underlined as critically important, above nearly anything else. You need to have connections to get better jobs, find investment opportunities, and find a good place to set up practice. Professional networking gives you a peer group to bounce ideas off from and socialize with.
So why are doctors finding it hard to network in 2022, when the world is more connected than ever? Burnout is at an all-time high, and physicians are leaving the profession to seek less stressful occupations. Those who are in effective networks, however, are faring significantly better.
Physician networking can be a key to helping you manage stress, improve your career, and improve your overall quality of life. Let's look at why networking is important and how to take advantage of it.
Why physician networking is important
Doctors who have a peer group to interact with are more likely to know of trends in the medical field than other doctors. Having a network opens you up to change practices, add additional patients, get referrals from other physicians, and expand your practice. You can also find freelance consultation opportunities if you're looking to increase your revenue or find someone to help lighten the load in your own patient pool.
Outside of work, physician networking can help you get answers to highly relevant questions about retirement, investing, and other financial matters. Talking to family or friends about these subjects is one thing, but networking with other doctors gives you a sounding board of perspectives similar to your own. Other physicians are keenly aware of the problems and concerns that you face as a doctor and will be able to give you advice that is rooted in their own experiences.
Finally, networking can help you stay on top of pertinent trends in your medical field or specialty. For instance, as the need and efficacy of telehealth expand, talking about it with peers can help you make a good decision regarding implementing it yourself. Understanding the pros and cons of an ever-changing medical landscape is easier when you have a reliable network.
Strategies for networking
Unfortunately, the process of networking isn't as simple as going to a few conferences. Creating a network that can help further your career and financial goals can happen through intentional acts and being in the right place at the right time. Certainly, going to conferences or other healthcare-focused functions can help you find like-minded individuals, but oftentimes deliberate action garners more results.
Consider what your goals are. If you want to branch out in your practice, find conferences in your area that cater to your specific concerns within your medical field. For instance, if you're a specialist, look for meet-ups specific to your niche.
It's important, however, to ensure you don't limit your scope to just medical conferences. If your goal is to understand how to pivot your practice to meet certain financial goals — expansion or retirement, for instance — you should seek financial conferences. You have to truly understand what you want to explore to network in a way that is beneficial.
Consider online networking
There are plenty of physician-focused, online social networks where you can reach out and connect with other people in your field. LinkedIn is a great place to go for all professional needs — marketing, networking, and development — but sites like Sermo are designed specifically for medical professionals.
If you're interested in telehealth or are already partnered with a telehealth platform, you can often connect through your provider. You can also join associations relevant to your practice, which may often have virtual or in-person meetings where you can meet with other physicians.
Talk to your peers
If you work in a business setting or a hospital, simply bring up your topics with your work friends and colleagues. Most doctors are going through the same stresses and burnout you are and have similar questions and concerns about the future. Some may have changed or are considering changing fields, while others might be preparing to leave a clinical setting for a research one. The wealth of knowledge in the people you already know is staggering and likely most valuable!
Connecting with a purpose
Networking isn't something you need to leave behind when you start your career. Continuing education is critical for physicians regarding your specialization and long-term concerns, like finances or retirement.
Consider leaning into the people you already know, and also branching out at conferences, within associations, or online. You will find the effort you place in networking can pay back significantly, whether you're looking to expand your business, prepare for a life change (like a birth or retirement), or looking to expand into telehealth and virtual medicine.
If you're considering telehealth, let ViTel show you how beneficial it can be for you, your stress levels, and your practice. In addition to our platform's success in handling patient data, intake, and much, much more, we also have a robust network of clinicians for you to connect with.
The exchange of ideas can only make our healthcare system stronger, and ViTel is here to help. If you’re interested in a free demo to better understand the difference a well-structured telehealth platform can make in your life, we’ve got you covered!