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“That’s Not How We Do It”: Managing the Inherited Medical Practice Team

“That’s Not How We Do It”: Managing the Inherited Medical Practice Team


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Laura Hills, DA
 
Most medical practice managers who take a new job will inherit an existing team. Those first few days on the job are critical because they can determine whether or not the new manager will succeed. This article provides a game plan for new medical practice managers so they get off on the right foot with their inherited teams. It suggests strategies for learning about the team’s culture and for demonstrating visibly that there is a new manager in the job. It offers guidelines about introducing the new manager to the inherited team, discussing past experiences, and establishing new expectations. This article further provides practical tips for serving as a role model, gaining allies, and dealing with troublemakers quickly and effectively. It suggests strategies for speaking about the previous practice manager and for creating excitement with the inherited team. Finally, this article offers a set of 15 questions a new manager can ask members of the inherited team to get to know them, an additional 25-point team assessment instrument, and a step-by-step strategy for raising the bar for mediocre, lackluster, or dysfunctional inherited teams.