Throughout life, physicians are an important and constant companion for any person. People depend on these medical practitioners for the diagnosis and treatment of various health concerns.
Being a doctor is one of the most challenging jobs, as it’s no small matter handling the health and well-being of others. Whether you are a family doctor, a gynecologist, a pediatrician or an oncologist, a career in medicine is a noble one that requires not only years of study and training, but also a set of strong personal qualities.
Here are some of the traits that will put you on the right track towards becoming a good physician:
- Ability to cope with and manage stress
One of the most common things associated with medical professions is the responsibility they carry and the high level of stress that comes along with it. Dealing with the weight of another person’s life can be a heavy burden to bear, leading to physical and emotional stress. But that can be harmful not only to the doctor’s health because it can also affect their performance when they diagnose or treat their patients. If you’re a doctor and you want to lower your stress levels, consider these tips on maintaining proper work-life balance.
- Knowledgeable and skilled
You didn’t finish eight years of medical study for nothing, after all. Whenever a patient goes to see a doctor, they usually have no idea what’s going on inside their body. They will depend on you to tell them what the problem is, along with the solution to it. For this reason, having a broad general knowledge of medicine that you can pull from memory quickly is important.
Another trait that patients want in a doctor is being highly skilled. They will want to know how many people you have successfully treated and what methods you used for your treatment plans. A skilled doctor will reassure patients and make them feel safe while under their care.
Continued learning is also a must. Medicine is a science, and this means that innovations, advancements, and medical breakthroughs are constantly being made. Keeping up to speed with the latest news and studies will benefit you and your patients.
Professionalism entails proper behavior in any circumstance. As a physician, you will be dealing with different patients almost every day. Treating them with compassion and respect is one of the core ethics of medical practice. A doctor must be respectful and fair to all patients, regardless of their social status, race or lifestyle. Even when a patient is being difficult, you must stay composed.
It is also important to have healthy relationships with your patients. One of the most important foundations of such good relationships is doctor-patient confidentiality. People will trust you with very personal information, so you should not disclose anything that they’ve shared with you without their consent.
- Having a strong work ethic
This means working hard and staying dedicated to your profession regardless of your personal problems. Being a doctor can mean extended shifts and working during holidays oreven on your days off. Putting in extra time outside of your shift often cannot be helped as accidents and emergencies can occur. A physician is expected to respond to these incidents swiftly and competently, even if they are feeling tired.
Developing a strong work ethic can be difficult, but this trait can be honed by maintaining healthy habits that encourage self-improvement and optimism despite hardships.
- Thoroughness attention to detail
People entrust their lives to doctors, but the tiniest mistake could be potentially harmful. Some physicians rush through medical examinations, often overlooking certain symptoms that lead to misdiagnosis or prescribing the wrong medication. It’s wise to avoid such a practice.
A good physician will spend more time examining and questioning their patients. It’s difficult to determine what is ailing a person in the first few minutes upon meeting. You have to ask more specific questions (and listen carefully) in order to have a more detailed idea of what the problem is. Being attentive and thorough will allow you to treat a patient better and can prevent further complications.
- Honest and straightforward
It’s sometimes hard to be honest, especially to people who have been diagnosed with serious diseases, but it’s a doctor’s duty to let their patients know the truth. Keeping pertinent details of an illness is a no-no. Don’t leave your patients in the dark about information concerning their own bodies.
Aside from being honest, you should also speak plainly. Avoid using medical jargon that will confuse your patients. Those who are given undesirable diagnoses will already have a lot to think about, so don’t overwhelm them further with confounding medical terms. Explain the facts, the risks, and their options in a simple manner. Doing all this will help your patients make informed decisions.
Having a doctor who seems uninterested and uncaring will make patients feel as though their illness is insignificant. A doctor like this can even instill a feeling of hopelessness at the most extreme cases. As a professional who works to heal people physically, a physician should also consider their patient’s emotional well-being. There is even a study that suggests that patients are more motivated to receive continuous treatment if their attending doctor shows empathy.
A job as a physician requires commitment and dedication. Investing years of your life to study medicine will lead to a profession that is as difficult as it is rewarding. Sure, you’ll be working long hours, and there may be times when you will want to give up, but the feeling of helping people in the way that only doctors can is what makes it so motivating despite the challenges.