Medicine today is a continuously evolving industry. Between new and improved technologies to the ever-changing regulations, healthcare practitioners have a duty to stay current on changes that can make a difference on the practice of medicine. However, the biggest question is how does one juggle a busy profession and the enormity of new information? The following five tips can help one stay current in today’s field of medicine:
1. Narrow down authorities to just a few
It is virtually impossible to keep abreast of changes in medicine overall. One should only focus on what applies to his or her specific field of practice as well as to overarching rules and regulations, for example, privacy issues or billing practices. Determine which associations, departments or organizations are the leading authority in the specialties that are applicable. Honing in on those authorities will make the task much more reasonable.
2. Subscribe to ongoing notifications
Nearly any organization today offers some sort of listserv or notification distribution system. Sign up to be included in these automatic notifications. This is an easy way to obtain the latest, most pertinent information being released by the authorities of your choice.
3. Allocate time dedicated to staying current
It is easy to procrastinate on tasks like reading the latest medical journal or newsletter from the local medical board. These tasks naturally rank lower on the priority list than providing your care to patients who need it. However, if one can dedicate merely half a day to reading-up on the most pressing and relevant updates in the field, it will become routine. For example, one can visit www.aclsonlinerenewal.org to complete their ACLS Certification Online, whereas before it was performed in a classroom setting.
4. Attend relevant conferences
Nowadays virtually every association hosts a yearly conference, and it is nearly impossible to attend all the conferences that we would like to attend. As conference dates are released, create a yearly plan that narrows down the top five conferences over the next year that offer information that one simply cannot miss obtaining.
5. Network, network, network
When one has any time off, try to attend network functions hosted by local medical associations, fellow healthcare professionals or administrators. Typically, one can learn a great deal about new developments from colleagues.
Ultimately, one can stay current in today’s field of medicine by streamlining the authorities that one pays attention to, subscribing to automated electronic notifications, allocate time for reading, attending only relevant conferences, and by networking.