“When Doctors ‘Feel Rotten’ There’s A
Proven Way To Escape From or Prevent The Brain Pain”
The cause is more often the result of a
calamity in their practice than a snotty nose.
No matter what the cause of that terrible unrelenting
feeling, your medical practice business suffers it’s own
business pain. The faster you can shed the rotten
feeling the better the compliance of your patients,
office staff, and those around you that day will be.
I’ve had my share of that feeling in my practicing years
and have seen how destructive it can be for you
You can’t hide the “rotten feeling” from anyone, even
though you believe you can. Your body language, speech
tone, and face expose it all. So if you can’t hide it
and still want to continue your normal medical practice
duties for the day(s), you need to have your own means
of eliminating it fast.
Other than an illness that you can treat medically,
there are many other more serious causes of a rotten
feeling that are more damaging to your mental health,
reputation, and interaction with those around you. When
one day I received a legal notice that a patient had
filed a malpractice suit against me, it took me all of
the first day thinking about what I did that would have
made that medical patient so hateful towards me.
The second day after that notice I had problems with
depression about it all and that lasted over a week
while I continued practicing. Trying to work harder,
involve myself with jobs and tasks, did not help. I
couldn’t hide from my guilt about it all or from the
thoughts that automatically popped up in my brain
intermittently. My self-induced criticism of myself for
being such a bad doctor was emotionally intolerable.
It so happened that this lady was my patient and I had
done a tubal reanastamosis on her following a prior
tubal ligation elsewhere. That was two years ago. She
hadn’t gotten pregnant in the two years and brought the
suit against me. I specialized in infertility surgery
and had done many reanastamosis procedures, mainly
because no other doctors in the area would do them
(insurance didn’t pay for these). The highlight of my
practice over the years was doing infertility surgery
because I loved doing it and good at it.
The success is always measured by pregnancy occurring.
There are no guarantees of pregnancy after the
procedure. Most of the time pregnancy doesn’t occur
after such a repair, so it gives patients a chance to
hope where there was essentially none otherwise.
Within a month after the malpractice notice my attorney
told me that the case has been dismissed… she was
Most of you have had some catastrophe in your practice
comparable to this one and suffered similarly from it.
One reliable way to resolve that “rotten feeling”
The solution revolves around the idea of what John C.
Maxwell, New York Times best selling author, speaker,
leadership expert, wrote in “How Successful People
It’s called “deep thinking.” To most professionals the
idea of taking time out to do some expansive and deeper
thinking about issues they face, is impossible or not
worth their time.
For doctors who later discovered they had picked the
it certainly would have been important at the time. Even
the choice about where to start medical practice demands
a lot more thought than most
We are never taught how to involve ourselves in deeper
thinking. Yet in our lives the number mistakes we’ve
made, wrong decisions we’ve made, and problems we’ve
solved using the wrong strategies serve to remind us how
important deep thinking is to our profession, success,
and lives. Everyone should read his books.
Mr. Maxwell’s book tells you how to think deeply,
because most of us have no idea how to do it.
John C. Maxwell’s advice on thinking in depth
1. Deep thinking is not automatic; you have to work at
it because it requires a change in your thinking.
2. Expose yourself to good input by reading, tapes,
spending time with those that are good logical thinkers
3. Don’t use emotions except to feed the process and
create mental momentum.
4. Shaping your thoughts requires using humor, humility,
excitement, creativity, fulfillment, honesty, passion,
5. The spot to think deeply, anywhere you can
concentrate on thinking. Most productive thinking comes
within a team.
6. Thoughts need to be a habit and discipline… thinking
7. Cultivate the big-picture thinking… learn from every
“Where success is concerned, people are not measured in
inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or family
background; they are measured by the size of their
8. Thinking evolves sequentially from
visualization, to ideas, to focused thinking, to goals,
to creativity, to realistic thinking, to strategic
thinking, to possibility thinking, to reflective
thinking, to questioning popular thinking, to
questioning all your own thinking, to practice unselfish
thinking, to bottom line thinking.
9. Profit determines whether you are succeeding in
How all this fits into medical practice business
We learn from human behavior studies and experiments on
brain function that nearly all decisions we make are
made on an emotional basis and later are rationalized by
the other side of the brain that thinks in practical
The habit of emotional decision making makes for
increasing our stress because the results are so
frequently far off the mark of what we should have done.
Surgeons rarely enter the operating room without
thinking about the process of the surgery they are about
to do. Pro and con factors pass through their minds,
sometimes subconsciously, and remain in conscious range
during the surgery.
Is this person too old to tolerate this surgery, or too
unhealthy to survive post op? Even the physician who
referred the patient to the surgeon has to think about
that. Confound that with the thought that the patient’s
desire is to have the procedure done regardless of the
potential danger to themselves.
In private medical practice physicians and other medical
care providers have a responsibility to advise the
patient honestly. That responsibility extends to your
medical practice business management as well as to
family matters. If there is no thorough investigation
into all the ramifications of any decision, whether
business ones or not, is the only way to truly modify
the eventual results of a decision and to avoid the bad
decisions we make.
The 14% of physicians that move to a different location
each year revealed by the AMA survey results seems to
indicate that 14% have made a decision without fully
evaluating the consequences of the original decision, no
Physicians who choose the wrong specialty to pursue
often stick with it rather than change to another and
continue to remain unhappy, unfulfilled, and miserable.
How many times have you made a decision and regretted it
later? The reason commonly is because a person failed to
uncover consequences of the decision and alterations
that may have to be made later if this-or-that situation
Obviously, the extent of our investigation will not
uncover all of the undesirable consequences of a
decision we make, but you can eliminate many of the
worst consequences by considering every aspect, good and
bad, of the decision about to be made.
Successful people make a habit of considering everything
they can think of—by deep thinking. If you set up your
practice in the poor area of the city or out in the
country-side in a small town, you can’t expect to earn a
lot of income, have the benefits of locating in nice
areas of the city, unless you have a “business system”
setup that works.
If you decide to join another doctor or group practice
sometime, wouldn’t you visit the doctors at least in
person? Most split-ups of partnerships and groups occur
because the doctor didn’t investigate it enough. I once
contacted a doctor in AZ about an association with him.
On the phone everything sounded fantastic and was right
for me to pursue.
doctor friend of mine practicing in that area told me
just the opposite story about the problems with the
doctor that I had spoken with about an association in
practice with him. The hospital administrator confirmed
those problems as well.
Doctors become suddenly disabled, die in accidents or
from cancer, are restricted in hospital privileges,
become incompetent to practice, go through a divorce,
have a million dollar settlement of a malpractice case,
lose their medical license, involved in a crime, etc.
I’ve seen it all during my years. Lots of these terrible
situations and their potential results can be identified
early-on and save you major grief later.
You might want to go around to all the doctors locally
and have a friendly conversation with them maybe on the
premise of referring patients to them. Ask them
questions about their careers and what has happened to
them unexpectedly in the past.
Bottom Line Comments
There is so much more to developing deep thinking than I
can tell you here. You can use the information in books
written on the topic and alert your children to the
process, encourage them in doing it, even do a few
projects of deep thinking with them to let them have an
experience with it.
hate to admit it, but I would have made a number of
different decisions about medicine in my life if I had
known these things and used