June 2010

Doctors who are frustrated

Doctors frustrated? With what?

Dr Tom Potisk on a recent hike through a village in Tuscany, Italy

You would think that with the great income, rewarding work of healing people, prestige, education, intelligence, and ego, doctors should be ecstatically exuberant, right?


Doctors are under more pressure and have more responsibilities than never before. If it’s not the malpractice risk, it’s the cost of running a practice, the staff management, the marketing, the paperwork, the insurance payment cut-backs, etc, etc.

And unfortunately, it’s not looking any brighter in the future. The jury is still out on just what exactly the new Health Care Reform bill will mean for most people, but I’d be willing to bet that for doctors, it will amount to higher patient loads, less income, and more paperwork. Sorry docs!

So what’s a doc to do? Quit? Let’s hope not, we need you guys and gals.

I have some better answers. In fact I wrote the book on the subject and it’s called Reclaim the Joy of Practice- An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. I also provide lectures on the topic to groups of doctors. you can buy the book by clicking here.

You see, I’m a doctor too, and have been for over 25 years. From the start, I recognized the challenges and refused to beat by them. So, I started a journey to find the answers to attaining and maintaining more joy as a doctor. I discovered some incredible things, not from going to seminars, not from books on the subject; no, I learned from both the school of hard knocks and from seeking out and then following doctors that have a lot of joy.

Believe it or not, there really are some doctors that are ecstatically exuberant, even with the same challenges and frustrations that all doctors face.

Dr Tom Potisk receiving his Chiropractor of the Year award

So doc, you need to do something about your frustrations. You don’t have to suffer. And more importantly, doing something to gain more joy will benefit your patients, your family and your practice overall. I can guarantee you this, they all want you to be happy.

Here are 2 items of good news: 1)Your frustrations are not entirely your fault; you just have not been given the proper solutions, 2) It’s not that hard to get the joy you want and should have.

Here are a few words from some delighted doctors:

Dr. Tom Potisk‘s program was fantastic! I laughed, I cried, and I went back to my practice with a new, deeper sense of dedication and confidence. All DCs need to hear his message!” – Dr. Donna Stackpool, Lake Geneva WI

“Reclaim the Joy of Practice was an amazing presentation!  Dr. Potisk made the evening fun and enlightening with great tips on how to stay happy and truly enjoy Chiropractic.  I loved the history references with BJ.  It was a great reminder of how generations past fought for Chiropractic and how we need to honor them and the profession AND continue the passion.  Thanks Dr. Potisk for lighting the fire again!” – Tara Gill DC, Delevan WI

” After 36 years in practice, I’ve heard dozens of great speakers.  Last night Dr. Tom Potisk gave one of the most stirring and compassionate presentations I’ve ever experienced.  I left the room inspired  and with a new  sense of dedication to this great profession.” – Jerry Zelm DC, Oconomowoc WI

Hey doc, what are you waiting for?

By the way, have you seen my other website/blogs?



Categories: burnout, frustration, practicegrowth



Doctors need personal growth

Doctors need personal growth. LOL! Who ever said we were perfect?


Look for giants

Have you ever heard the expression “Fake it till you make it” or, how about “Act as if?” Well, inventing yourself to become a successful doctor and having a strong identity is best done that way beyond the typical book work – that is by copying and pretending. I’m not contradicting my belief that we are all born with a purpose. No, not at all! That’s why you’re a doctor. You felt or sensed a calling to better the lives of others by tending to their health needs; and that’s very honorable. But once you’ve got that figured out, and jumped through all the hoops to get the degrees and licenses to be a doctor, then you need polish. You need to get the details, the tricks-of-the-trade, the ins and outs of a successful career, the ‘what- to- dos and what- not- to- dos’, and this is best done by finding somebody who has already done it – I call them “giants”, watching them, and then copying at least some of what they do.

This is known as inventing one’s self. One of the necessities of having a fulfilling, rewarding, exciting life is to never stop inventing yourself, in fact, be constantly reinventing yourself! The reality of being a doctor, whether you like it or not, is that it is some what of a performance for patients; and they are increasingly demanding fresh material.

Just one of many demands that come with being a doc. LOL.

My book, Recaim the Joy of Practice– An Advanced guide for Advancing Doctors, makes your transformation easier. You can order it by clicking here.

“Even if you’re on the right track, if you don’t keep moving, you’ll get run over.” -Mark Twain

If you’re a veteran doc and find yourself saying here, “I am one of the giants.” You need this chapter; because true giants don’t recognize themselves as such, that’s one of the criteria – humility.

Some will ask, “Isn’t following giants the same as getting a mentor?” The answer is no because mentoring involves finding someone to personally look over and guide us. That may work well in some instances but usually isn’t practical with doctors because, let’s face it, most of us are egomaniacs – we want to make our own decisions. Sure, you probably can figure it all out yourself, find your own way, and perhaps even learn from all the mistakes you’ll make. But gee whiz, why do you want to make it so hard on yourself. Not only that but, the public, the patients you serve, are deserving and expecting you to learn from those before you. I wouldn’t want to go to a doctor and be an experiment, someone to learn on, would you? And this reinforces your responsibility to be a partner in your patient’s health – they deserve and demand that you have as much experience as possible, and learning from giants in your profession is one of the best ways for you to get that experience.

Now, some of you reading this are probably already raising your walls of resistance and muttering ‘Nobody is going to tell me what to do!’ or ‘I already know what my practice will be like, how I’ll talk to patients, treat them, etc.”  Well, congratulations on your confidence, but let me ask you, ‘Don’t you think that maybe you’d pick up a little something useful? Maybe even clarifying for yourself what you don’t want to do?’

So you see, watching, observing, listening, and learning from somebody who has already been successful is an action that can’t fail. Of course, I’m referring only to ethical actions, done for the good of a patient.

We doctors need nuturing! LOL.

Hey doc, take a look around. Who could you learn from?

By the way, have you seen my other blogs – www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com and www.wholehealthhealing.com?

Categories: doctor personal growth, practicegrowth


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Doctors Who are Happy

Doctors should be and need to be happy. Patients deserve nothing less.

I just returned from a 10 day trip of hiking, biking, and eating my way thru Rome, Italy and Tuscany. Now my feet ache but my tummy is happy! LOL.

Dr Tom Potisk in front of Castle Santi Angelo in Rome Italy

I saw and experienced lots of really cool things like The Vatican, The Pantheon, The Roman Forum, The Roman Catacombs, Trevi Fountain, The Coliseum and spent a few days at an authentic ancient Tuscan farm called Agriturismo Cerreto (great place) near the ancient hill top towns of Pienza and Montelpulciano. I even hiked to a steaming natural hot spring in the Tuscany mountains called Terme San Fellipo and soaked in it – ahhhhhh!!!!

Dr Tom Potisk in natural hot spring in mountains of Tuscany, Italy

Don’t worry, I always wear my swim suit! LOL.

My many trips like this, which are really adventure vacations, are some of the reasons my friends call me The Vacation Expert. What they mean by this is not about my ability to go to cool places, they mean I’m an expert at getting away frequently and efficiently so it does not harm my practice. These “off the beaten path” trips are another reason I’m known as the “down to earth” doctor.

I’ve observed, from my experiences in helping doctors, and from my own 25 years of running a busy practice, that most doctors need more rest. They need to get better at disconnecting from the demands of their responsibilities both short term and long term. Are you feeling better already? LOL.

Just how long should doctors disconnect? It varies among individuals but on average, doctors need to disconnect short term for a minimum of 30 minutes a day by meditating, praying, or just vegging out in a quiet undisturbed place. And the long term? Doctors need to disconnect long enough to feel the desire to return to their normal duties. This may be several days at a time, several times per yea,r or for those close to burnout it may be several weeks or even months. On average, I needed and took 6-10 weeks off per year.

“But my practice and my patients?” you’ll probably ask. Well I’m happy to report that there is a 5 step procedure I came up with that allows a doctor to take lots of time off with little or no negative impact to their practice. This is called Becoming a Vacation Expert and you can read about it in my book called Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors.  Oh yeah, and there is a lot of other great stuff in there too, more than 50 others in fact, all designed to make a doctor more joyful.

You see, the ultimate goal is better service to patients, and doctors who are well rested can give better service. The patients want their doctors to be joy-filled.

So doc, wake up to the message in front of you carried by every patient – that life is awfully short and precious. It’s okay to take optimum care of yourself by getting adequate rest, so you can then take optimum care of your patients.

When was the last time you felt fully rested?

By the way, have you seen my other blog sites?

For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com and http://thedowntoearthdoctor.com

Categories: burnout, burnout/stress, Health, practicegrowth, vacations


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