Being Teachable as a Clinician

As someone still heavily involved in the hiring process, I am looking for people who are always learning. In our organization, a new clinician is equally as valued as one with more experience. We learn a lot from our new clinicians (and even our graduate students).

No matter how long you have been practicing, but especially if you are new, you must recognize you don’t know it all. You shouldn’t aim to be the person in the room who knows the most. You should strive to surround yourself with people who know more than you. This is better for your clients and their families as the more you are open to learning, the more you help them.

Seek guidance and advice from those around you. Social media makes it very easy to connect with those in your profession all over the world and to stay in touch with former colleagues or graduate school cohorts who can be helpful advisors for you.

If you are struggling with a particular patient, ask if a more seasoned clinician can observe a session with you. If you don’t work with more seasoned clinicians in the same building, see if the family/patient would be agreeable to you recording the session to share with a colleague.

Turn your commute time into a time to listen to audiobooks or CEU courses. Keep professional magazines and journals in your bag, purse, or car so that if you find yourself with some downtime, you can spend the time wisely by learning.

One of the greatest things about our profession is that there is always something to learn. Stay curious and stay humble. You will never be wasting your time if you are learning.