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You’re Trained in the Art of Medicine, Not HR Management

In the same way that you refer a patient to an oncologist when you diagnose cancer, you need to hire a Human Resource (HR) professional when you discern an employee issue. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by many medical and health professionals: in my immediate family are a physician, a dietician, an anaesthetist, two nurses, a gynaecologist and a GP. This has given me a broad view into the issues common to many medical and health practices.

Medical and health professionals undergo extensive education and training to become qualified and certified to practise their profession. But the one thing they are not trained in is how to run a business and successfully manage employees. A medical client once said to me “I don’t run a business, I care for my patients”. While I found this attitude most comforting for the Doctor’s patients, it didn’t bode so well for his employees.

Although university may academically prepare you for your medical/health career, it doesn’t provide you with all the skills you need in the modern world to set up a medical/health practise, run a business and create a happy and health workplace for your employees to be in. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. While the AMA provides basic information to medical professionals about the correct Award staff should be employed under, they do not provide qualified HR advice and guidance to how to deal with complex Human Resource matters.

Many medical /health practises employ a practice manager to oversee employment matters, often in conjunction with a practice principal. But Human Resources is simply one of the practise managers many tasks, instead of being their core focus and what they hold their qualification in. While there are training courses for practice managers to learn more about HR matters, I keep coming back to the fact that most practice managers are not qualified HR professionals. In the same way that you hire a Certified Practicing Accountant for your taxes, you hire a qualified HR professional to resolve HR matters within your practice. HR is too multifaceted and complex to be sidelined to anyone with a pulse.

For more advice on how to realise a happy healthy workplace and get HR right in your medical practice, contact Nyree at The Fiddes Group.

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