Goal Setting & 2024 Planning

Twelve months ago we discussed “Goal setting” and how it can help moving forward, developing your medical practice and improving your job satisfaction.

For me personally, some of them are still very valid. Some I achieved; others not (yet).

My first point last year was: “Did I perform a new procedure?”

Yes, I ran into trouble with a rather challenging case. My patient had significant pelvic side wall surgery done previously and I was simply unable to identify the ureters in order to proceed with the surgery I had in mind safely. I injected Indocyanine Green (ICG) into both ureters via cystoscopy (no urologist required) to visualise both ureters at laparoscopy very clearly. I felt like I was cheating because what was a super difficult procedure before now became super easy and I was able to complete the procedure quickly without any intraoperative injuries.

I videotaped the case (as I routinely do) and shown it at two conferences this year with my audience (all gynaecologists) being stunned how easy this “new procedure” is and also realising how many of us have the technology available to do this case. One of my friends who attended the conference commented that I just created the “foolproof hysterectomy”. I also submitted the video (with patient consent) as a case report and it will be published early in 2024.

Later this year, we will hold a Fireside chat about this technique so that many of our subscribers will benefit.

There were five other points and – although they have merit – I will not go through them one by one.

Apart from monitoring my metrics, it became very clear to me that I would never give up on my surgical data that I collected over the last years. I am super happy that I have at my fingertips the number of procedures that I have done last year (and the year before); I know my complication rates; and I know the proportion of my patients giving me a rating of 8 or less in the SurgicalPerformance PROMS patient survey.

Apart from completing my CPD super quick and easy, knowing this data gives me a sense of control; that I am in charge of my destiny; and that I do everything in my power to protect myself against all sorts of risks. At least I know how well I am performing. And I can reflect on my data whenever I want and whenever it helps me.

For 2024 I would like to throw in a few questions that are a little less data informed but nevertheless may inspire you to think about the sustainability of your practice and how you can continue enjoying your work life.

  • Is there enough sleep in my life?
  • What new technique that I can learn this year will make sure my profession continues to be interesting for me?
  • How can I improve interaction with colleagues from other specialties?
  • How do I celebrate when I have achieved performance indicators?
  • How do I view failure?
  • How can I help or be useful to colleagues?
  • What components exactly make my job so inspiring for me?
  • How can I take time to reflect so that I don’t burn out and keep enjoying what I do?

The SurgicalPerformance Team would like to thank you for your loyalty in 2023 and we hope that 2024 will be a grand year for you and your loved ones.