Grow your value in order to advance your career

One of the tenants of becoming a successful doctor is the three A’s. These are fundamental steps into order to prosper. However, to develop your career further, you have to grow your value. What this means is that in order to be marketable in your profession, you have to have a skill to offer. This essentially means that you need to figure out what your job description is and fully maximize your ability to fulfill that niche. Do it better than anyone else around who might be vying for that position and you become a superstar.

How can I grow my value?

As a doctor, you need to practice good, ethical medicine. Take care of your patients (as much as they let you). That is the foundation to build upon.

Identify your role models. Children learn from their parents and caretakers. Professionals learn from their seniors and others who have taken the same footsteps. There is never going to be a single ideal role model. Someone who can help you develop your clinical or research skills is not likely going to teach you how to run a medical practice. Likewise, a role model for a particular skill may even be someone from a competing practice who is willing to show you the ropes.

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Your accomplishments must be made known. It does not matter if you are the best diagnostician in the world if no one knows who you are. Many good deeds go unnoticed all of the time. You don’t have to boast your successes, but they must be publicized to promote your value. If you made a diagnosis or cure that others missed, casually introduce the topic in conversion with your coworkers or managers. In order for you to move the chain, your peers have to respect your clinical, managerial, and leadership abilities. Make a case for everything you excel in.

Be firm but reasonable. This goes for job promotions, equipment needs, staffing needs. Everything. You must keep a level head in negotiation. People tend to ignore crazy people even if they are right. If you are getting paid at the 10th percentile of your specialty’s salary range and you are doing 90th percentile work, you need to gather enough data to present to your case. Collect your RVUs, staff utilization, expenses, and show that you are being undervalued. If you are the more qualified surgeon in the state but have inadequate nursing staff, make your case. Perhaps you need to show that most doctors in your specialty require a certain number and skill of staff, and that you could make more money if you have better staff.

You must have a goal.

Growing your value is ultimately useless if you have no finish line. You won’t really know what you are working for if you don’t have a goal in mind. Whether the goal is to achieve a certain annual income or giving yourself enough time to exercise every day, have your sights set on something.  After that, map out your plan to increase your self worth to achieve that goal.

To recap:

  1. Choose a goal. Short-term and long-term.
  2. Map out the qualities and achievements that you need to accomplish to reach that goal.
  3. Start growing your value. Make yourself a desired commodity.
  4. Work hard to get there. Hustle.


What have you done to grow your value?

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