What? Is this true? Isn’t it a fact that no one wants to associate with complainers? Aren’t they obnoxious? Aren’t they annoying? Most people don’t want anything to do with a doctor who complains about his job, his patients, or his lifestyle….right? Well….this is not really true. Doctors who complain are the ones who come out on top, and people want to be around successful people. This really seems counterintuitive. Don’t people shun complainers? Don’t people feel sorry for complainers? Don’t people resent those who gripe about their current conditions?
There are 4 reasons why doctors who complain are the ones who get ahead. Doctors who “go with the flow” are casually drifting along with the current tide. The complainers constantly find the snags in the flow so they can motor miles ahead of the rest of the medical community.
1. Complaining means that you are actively acknowledging that there is a problem with your current situation….whether it be your current salary, your associates, your patient load, or your schedule
2. Complaining means that you have enough self esteem to feel that you deserve better
3. Complaining means that you are not afraid to express your true feelings
4. Complaining means that you feel an urgency for change
I am not advocating that you become a chronic, nagging annoying pest. I am not advising that you spend your entire day simmering in everything that is wrong with your career. But you need to acknowledge your complaints first…….and then DO SOMETHING TO FIX THE PROBLEMS ASAP to be incredibly successful.
When I was in grade school, I had two friends who were the most vocal complainers I knew. These kids were always complaining about how school was a waste of time. One of them would get up, accost the teachers in the middle of class, and demand that they teach something meaningful. The other kid would drift off into space and complain about how boring and “lame” school was. As soon as secondary school was finished, each of them started a company. Now their businesses are each worth over a billion dollars. The type of schooling they received was strangling their creativity and passion. They complained and they complained. They acknowledged that formal education was failing them. As soon as they got their high school degrees, they acted. They created, from scratch, brilliant “outside of the box” businesses that have changed the world. They became hugely successful.
According to psychologist, Dr. Guy Winch, here’s what to do: “Complain, complain, complain!” In his incredibly entertaining and informative book, The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships, and Enhance Self-Esteem, he offers practical and psychologically grounded advice on how to express your complaints in the most effective way to lead a more productive and fulfilling life.
Dr. Ray Smilor–President of the Beyster Institute for Entrepeneurial Employee Ownership–calls complaints “blessings” and “market intelligence” in his article, The Blessing of Complaints: How Rants and Ravings Can Help You Succeed. He discusses customer complaints as gifts that can help businesses become markedly better. His ideas can also apply to your own complaints about your business, career, or lifestyle. Think of them as “blessings” that enable you to identify the sources of your own dissatisfaction with your current work conditions.
As physicians, it is okay to complain that you are working too hard, you are seeing too many patients, you are tired, you are paid too little, or you are spread too thin. It is good. Let it all out. Come to terms with what is frustrating you, limiting your happiness, or holding you back. Half the battle to achieving success is acknowledging what it is that you dislike about your job. Your complaints will be the fuel for your constructive actions. They will propel you to push your career to the next level. Embrace your inner complainer. You need that dissatisfaction and that frustration to make changes that will transform you into a far more successful you. The key is to complain and be brave enough to make the changes that will satisfy your complaints. Are you fed up with your front desk staff? Let them all go….hire a new team! Is your schedule overloaded with patients? Hire a new associate. Accept cash only. Add an extra half day. Quit your HMO job. Are you sick and tired of working Friday afternoons? Go golfing and rent out your office space to another doctor. For every single complaint, there can be an infinite number of great solutions. But you must have the courage to complain first. Don’t worry. It’s not taboo. Don’t smile, nod, “go with the flow” and acquiesce all the time and watch everyone zoom ahead of you.
Doctors….Just remember….no one becomes wildly successful by being complacent. Dare to complain and address your deepest frustrations, or be okay with living unhappily in everyone else’s shadow.
Dr. Abe Kashani—-Editorial writer for DoctorCPR.com: America’s #1 Website for Medical Jobs + Practice Resources