Are you considering going into medicine? It's important to closely consider what makes a good doctor and whether you'd be cut out for the job. Learn more here.
Medical school costs an average of $36,755 in the first year alone. A student may spend between $150,000 and almost $400,000 to earn their medical degree. Before committing to such a huge financial burden, make sure you're cut out for it. What makes a good doctor, anyway? Are there certain personality traits that make some people better candidates? The medical profession isn't entirely about hard skills like science and math, but also soft skills, like communication and organization. To find out if you've got what it takes, learn more about the qualities of a good doctor below.
A doctor is more than a human medical encyclopedia. A doctor has to do more than simply regurgitate medical facts. A doctor has to remain steadfast and resistant in the face of complex and puzzling medical conditions that defy conventional textbook explanations. A doctor has to use soft skills, like compassion, communication, and optimism, to ensure the best patient outcome — that should always be the main goal.
Here are some of the skills needed to accomplish that.
One of the worst qualities a doctor can have is a God complex. It ruins relationships with patients and makes the doctor difficult to work with. Even though becoming a doctor requires rigorous training and schooling, doctors should cultivate and maintain their humility. Being humble also means admitting you don't know everything. That can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. Keeping up with professional development opportunities, like enrolling in ultrasound courses for physicians, demonstrates that you always have something to learn and room to grow.
No matter how skilled you are, you will be presented with seemingly unsolvable medical problems. A good doctor is patient through adversities. Again, this can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. Being patient demonstrates a commitment to the patient and a professional resiliency on behalf of the patient. It may mean ordering more tests or communicating more about the medical issue to understand how to best serve the patient.
This skill often goes hand-in-hand with humility. There is nothing wrong with asking for a second opinion or collaborating with colleagues to solve medical problems. In fact, that is an ideal level of care for the patient. This also means communicating with the patient's primary care physician, something that rarely happens.
Academic intelligence is great, but it's not everything. Doctors also need emotional intelligence. Doctors need to be compassionate, empathetic, and respectful, not to mention having great listening skills to meet their patients' needs. How can you be a good doctor if you can't build a good rapport with your patients?
What makes a good doctor? A collection of hard and soft skills all focused on the ideal patient outcome. A good doctor has to be committed to improving and maintaining these skills to be the best they can be for their patient. For more useful career advice, make sure to stop by our page.