Attitude counts in the business of healthcare

Collegiality-the need for all people in an organization to interact comfortably with each other-is important in business. Managed care pushes this factor strongly, though it's not often expressed.

Plan officials want doctors they can like and respect personally. You may lose a contract if you don't keep your personality warts in check. So being nice has become a business necessity as well as a generally desirable social trait. Patients subconsciously sense animosity from unhappy staff or disgruntled partners.

That sense of unease colors their own experience, no matter how well they may think of your particular skills. You don't have to turn into Mr. Rogers overnight, but treat everyone – partners and staff as well as patients – with courtesy and respect.

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