“Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.”
As physicians, we learn from our patients, textbooks, and experience. “Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always,” these words from Hippocrates remain at the core of our values when interfacing with patients.
Psychiatrists have a unique therapeutic relationship—we gain access to a patient’s innermost private thoughts, fears and hopes. We come to know our patients on a profound and intimate level. As we are present through the highs and lows of our patients, we also navigate our own personal life demands. It is critically important, therefore, that we engage in a practice model that meets our individual professional and personal goals.
There are a multitude of ways to structure a practice model. And done correctly, most come with ample opportunities for work-life balance, entrepreneurship, and positive patient impact.
This Special Report on practice management helps serve as a tool for developing and structuring your own rewarding practice. One of the great benefits of our field is having options. With a variety of ways to practice—including virtual encounters, office appointments, locums, and consultancy—opportunities for the earnest psychiatrist are endless. There is no perfect pathway to achieving a sustainable practice model, which is why we need to support camaraderie in our field and learn from each other.
In this Special Report, a variety of topics are discussed and sound candid advice is provided. The Special Report serves as a guideline for dealing with a range of issues, from social media to burnout to office design to locums. Highlights include learning in detail how an office design can support a positive doctor-patient alliance. For those looking for even more freedom and flexibility in their day-to-day work, you will hear about one doctor’s experience doing locums in psychiatry. Specifics are shared about both the challenges and rewards of such work, as we hear from the author about the overall benefits of a practice with inherent flexibility. Another section focuses on the pros and cons of social media integration into practice—along with tips about how to overcome the “sting of negative reviews.” Readers will also become aware of the risk of burnout and learn how to foster resilience.
The goal remains to create exciting careers that will have us practicing for a long time. By building a practice model that we enjoy, it enhances our ability to “cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always.”
Dr Farrell is a private practice psychiatrist in Boston and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
Dr Farrell reports no conflicts of interest concerning the subject matter of this Special Report.