Ten Golden Rules for Every Medical Practice – A Manage My Practice Classic


Important Rules for Employees


Although I originally created this list for medical practices in 2009 and republished it in 2011, I think it still stands true today and applies to all workplace situations.

Sometimes employees do not understand or follow the most basic workplace guidelines. Here is a simple but comprehensive list that you can tweak to make your own. It covers about 25 basics in a short list of ten “Golden Rules.” Make it part of each job description or personnel handbook and/or post it in strategic places.

Report to work on time daily.

Be ready at your desk to begin work at the designated time. Leave promptly for lunch and return to work when you should, unless you’ve made special arrangements with your supervisor. Take breaks on the honor system and do not abuse the privilege. Clock in and out faithfully.

Command respect…

….from the physicians, managers and employees of (your practice/business name here) by demonstrating total professionalism in the workplace with your dress, your demeanor and conversation. Represent the business/practice in a way that would make your Mother and your boss proud of you. Treat your co-workers as you would like to be treated.

Be economical…

…by not wasting time or supplies or doing sloppy work that must be re-done.

Give every customer/patient your total attention, patience and courtesy.

Do not assume you know what the customer/patient is going to say, but listen carefully to the patient (in-person or on the phone) so you can assist them to the best of your ability. Remember how good it feels to be the center of someone’s attention and give that gift to every single patient.

Keep your supervisor aware…

…of any problems in your workload, whether too much or too little. Do not expect your supervisor to know if you are falling behind or caught up.


…all interactions with customers/patients and other businesses/medical facilities to assist your co-workers in knowing what you have done, and document your resolution of the situation to the customer’s satisfaction.

Strive for a positive attitude every single day.

Don’t whine.

Be a team player.

This means both covering for your co-workers and knowing that they will cover you. This means supporting your co-workers to their faces and behind their backs. This means having (your business/practice name here) goals for your goals, and knowing that your success will be your team’s success, and ultimately, the success of the business/practice.

Clean up your own messes…

…and act as an adult acts in the workplace: responsibly, maturely, and with thought for others. Accept blame for your own mistakes, knowing that everyone makes them, and that if no one is making any mistakes, nothing is improving.


…to making (your business practice name here) a good place to work. Only you can create a place where everyone enjoys working. Only you can make this place a good place to be.


For more medical office rules, read 21 Common Sense Rules for Medical Offices.

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(Photo Credit: Gord McKenna via Compfightcc)

Posted in: Amazing Customer Service, Day-to-Day Operations, Human Resources, Manage My Practice Classics

Leave a Comment (9) ↓


  1. rob dickerson August 8, 2013

    Great rules to live by for any business (not just medical practices)!

  2. EMV August 10, 2013

    Mary: I’m a real fan of yours, you are a tireless person trying to provide solutions to the problems of care medical. You have thought about the amount of principles, rules, golden rules, decisions of leaders, doctor to solve the problem and this problem continued as before?. Do you think that is, that they do not read it, listen, learn or put in practice?. Or is it simply not interested because tough is the solution?. For my continues to Ockham’s Razor: face similar problems, the solution most simple is the more correct. Do you think?

    • Mary Pat Whaley August 10, 2013

      Hi Eduardo,

      This is an interesting question. My thoughts are that some employees come to the workplace knowing the right things to do but not wanting to do them. Some come to the workplace not knowing the right things to do but anxious to learn them. I would always prefer to have employees in the second category.

      Of course, having a manager that requires these things and takes an employee to task for not doing them is critical. Most employees will come into alignment when it is clear the rules apply to everyone. It’s when the rules are not enforced, or are enforced haphazardly that things fall apart, or can never jell the way they should.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  3. Stephanie Meyers August 12, 2013

    This is a great article, one I will be sharing with the staff.

    • Mary Pat Whaley August 13, 2013

      Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for commenting!

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  4. cathy joseph August 12, 2013

    thankyou for your info . I totally agree!

    • Mary Pat Whaley August 13, 2013

      Thanks, Cathy, for your comment.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  5. RL August 15, 2013

    Treat every patient – Man – God – Devil equally and you will never go wrong.

    And Thank you – excellent suggestions

    • Mary Pat Whaley August 19, 2013

      Thanks for your comment, RL! The truth is, we can never be sure which one is the man, God, or the devil, can we?

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat