I just got home P. In April, I posted about my experience speaking before a group of ophthalmic administrators from around the country at the yearly ASOA meeting. This most recent meeting in New Orleans was with a much smaller audience, composed of approximately two dozen ophthalmic practices that have formed a “think tank” that comes together two times a year to discuss everything from best administrative practices to the latest surgical or technological innovation, as well as policies that affect reimbursement on health care claims.
So I thought that perhaps I’d share my pearls of wisdom (as those in attendance at the most recent meeting called them) about the things I learned this time around.
1. Ask lots of question. With only 14 months at my current job, I feel that I still have lots to learn about this particular subspecialty of health care. I could easily sit at the conference and simply nod my head in affirmation and fake knowing what some things mean. Luckily, I have a boss whom I trust and respect. And so, more than once, perhaps a handful of times (or two), I asked questions of her during presentations so that I could better understand the abbreviations I had never heard or the terms I didn’t understand. I feel like I walked away from the meeting with some knowledge of how certain aspects of the business work that I hadn’t understood before because of the lack of time I get to spend in that part of the business.
- Ask for feedback. My boss and the president of the practice praised my presentation about marketing an ophthalmology office. I am probably far more critical of my performance than they are, but I still felt it was important (and very intimidating) to ask my boss to reflect on my recent presentation and offer suggestions for what I could do to improve my public speaking. I don’t think any of us aspire to stay stagnant in our careers, nor do we proclaim to be A++ students during every presentation, so this uncomfortable request seemed necessary. The presentation was this past Saturday, so stay tuned for the follow up.
- Ask to make a connection outside of the meeting. Two days of meetings provides very little time to glean all the information you might want to from each person in attendance. In this case, I was able to serve on a panel with an administrator who serves as the practice admin, as well as the marketing guru for the practice. Although she wears many hats, I was able to see from her presentation that she has a fantastic grip on the marketing side of ophthalmology. I know I’ll be reaching out to her to brainstorm some ideas I’ve had.
I know I am lucky to have bosses who value my opinions enough to offer me opportunities to speak to groups of people about my knowledge of health communication. So look for those opportunities to network with like-minded individuals who will add value to the work you do for your current company.