There is no one in the world who has not gotten sick even once in their lifetime. If there is someone like that, it’s very rare I must say – I’d love to know how they do it! We don’t like to get sick and we hate being ill, but still that is an inevitable part of life. We all need a doctor least one time in our lives. We need their guidance and support and of course their attention when we are at our worst. Here are some of the most important traits of a good, patient focused doctor.
Being a Doctor is a Privilege
A doctor has the privilege of bringing sick people back to health. It’s one of the best service that one can do. It’s a meaningful opportunity that a doctor gets as it allows him/her to touch lives of people with care and love. Good doctors are aware of this – they deeply care for their patients and cherish the opportunity to serve them.
Be on the Cutting Edge
Why a patient would go to the same doctor again and again? Yes you have to care and be passionate about your patients, but you also have to deliver results to the best of your ability and up to the highest standards of your profession.
Your professional excellence will not come easily – it will require constant study fueled by your passion to serve your patients by always being at the top of your game. If you’re the type of person who obsessively researches the latest cures, the latest threats to the public health, the latest technologies, then you may be cut out to be a great doctor.
Patients are coming to a doctor in pain. They might be stressed out with their issues. They might have been neglected throughout their lives and be desperate for a soothing word. So if their doctor is rude, that will not make the patient want to approach the same doctor again. It’s important that a doctor treats the patients with kindness and care. That itself is a medication for some patients.
Showing kindness is not always easy – especially at the end of an 18 hour shift when you’re exhausted and dealing with a difficult patient. But it is essential.
See the Human Being
A doctor sees so many patients per day and for them seeing people with sickness is common. With time doctors tend to treat this as a simple issue or as a matter of fact, which makes a patient feel uncomfortable. For the patient it might be the first time going through that pain and might have never seen that before. So a good doctor needs to be empathetic enough to understand the pain and stress from the patient’s point of view and make them feel, that he/she understands and that he/she is there for the patient. See the human being, not just the illness.
Be Honest and Up-Front
It is important that a doctor is honest with the diagnosis and communicate what he sees and understand with the patient openly. At the same time if the doctor feels that he is not knowledgeable enough to treat the patient then he should be honest about it and communicate it to the patient and refer the patent to a more experienced doctor so that the patient won’t have to leave the room in doubt. Most of the time doctors are reluctant to do this as they think it might affect their reputation. In fact, you’re doing your patient a service.
Combine professional excellence with patients, empathy and a genuine passion to serve your patients, and you’re on your way to becoming the kind of doctor who everyone wishes they had.