At the Institute of Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED), we know that new practitioners have lots to think about: where to locate your practice, go solo or join a group, rent or own your office space. However, we want to give you one more thing to think about that, in the long run, may help with many of the other decisions you have to make: your mission statement.
No groaning! Your mission statement clarifies what your goals are and helps you set a course to reach them. This, in turn, makes it easier to make other decisions when you look at them through the lens of whether or not they are in line with your mission.
Questions to Ask
If you find yourself at a loss of how to start formulating your mission statement, use the questions below as a jumping off point:
- What types of patients do I want to see; am I hoping to focus on one or more specialties (like sports medicine) or a particular patient population (geriatrics)?
- In 10 years, I see myself…….?
- What are your professional and personal goals?
- When asked what you do for a living, you picture yourself saying……….?
- What do you do well?
- Where do you see your biggest weaknesses?
- What do you think will set your practice apart from others?
Don’t Go it Alone
If you have partners or employees, it’s important to get their input to the mission statement as well. After all, they’ll be working with you to achieve your goals and it’s helpful to have everyone on the same page, knowing clearly what they’re striving for. Once you’ve done some personal brainstorming answering the questions above and jotting down a general idea of where you’re headed, schedule a 2-hour meeting with your staff. Share your general thoughts about what you think your practice’s mission is and then solicit feedback and input from those who will be on the road with you. Fine tune the mission statement together. When you’re done, your staff will have ownership of your mission statement right along with you.
Once your mission statement is complete, don’t put it away in a file cabinet. Print and post your mission statement where your employees and patients can see it every day. Let your mission statement guide your practice decisions. Revisit it periodically with your staff and don’t be afraid to modify your mission if changes need to be made along the way.