Sharon Ufberg, DC discusses how to make personal connections during the holiday season.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC 

Yes it is holiday time. Many of us will have the good fortune to take some time away from our busy, regular routines and environs and get a much deserved and sorely needed vacation. We will drag out the skis or the golf clubs and head out with our loved ones for some family time. For me, these days away from my practice always gives me a new perspective, renewed energy and usually one or two good ideas to incorporate into my New Year agenda.

Even in these scary economic times, most of us will figure out a way to retain some semblance of our annual holiday traditions. The gifts may be more practical and the office party more modest but we will all continue to celebrate the season.

I have also started a new tradition this year. In the spirit of collaboration and goodwill, I am sending a personal note to all the practitioners that I have worked with this past year. Anyone who I have referred a patient to or received a referral from will get a personal note from me before I check out for the holidays. Once I started my list, I was pleasantly surprised how long it was and this joy lead me to add on all the labs and diagnostic facilities too.

Do you know how rare it is for any of us to receive a thank you note or personal greeting from a colleague in any format in the year 2008? If we are committed to the ideal of integrating health care practices for our patients then we should all be equally committed to making personal connections with our colleagues, especially those with different training or healing methods from ourselves.

The holidays are a perfect excuse to reach out and begin a dialogue with other practitioners. We often discuss how difficult it is to bridge the gap between practices. Well here is a first step in the process of making an authentic connection. If there are specific patients you both treat, name them. With one or two practitioners, I even suggest getting together in person after the New Year. It is surprising how few of us actually sit together informally even once throughout an entire year.

The last several years I have met a variety of practitioners at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium .   It is a perfect place to arrange to meet an old friend or new colleague between sessions.

This season make a positive step towards working more closely with fellow practitioners in your area. You will be amazed how good it makes you feel to be the one who makes the effort.

Happy holidays and wishes for peace.

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