The author of this article is Rebecca R. Fox, MD, who has opened a practice that focuses on integrative and functional medicine concepts for pediatric patients.

Physicians are adept at making quick decisions, but a more measured approach is often necessary for practice management decisions. The best business decisions are based on specific and relevant information. As such, ask yourself questions and get all the facts before making decisions on expensive additions or equipment for your practice. Review the pros and cons in writing, either on paper or perhaps a large whiteboard.

A critical pitfall to avoid is lack of communication with key personnel. Discuss decisions with other members of your team and encourage input from all parties that would be affected by these decisions. Also, do not let old assumptions or preconceptions get in the way of a sound decision. Technology and medicine are moving rapidly in all directions, so keeping an open mind is paramount.

When decisions must be made with a group of people, keep meetings efficient and organized by:

  • Clarifying the decision and delineating positive and negative outcomes.
  • Stating how the decision will be made and by whom.
  • Allowing for brainstorming and discussion of all available options.
  • Briefing and preparing others before the meeting.

After decisions are made, circle back and examine both good and bad results. This exercise will help you learn for challenges that are likely coming your way.

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