6 Essential Traits of Great Doctors


If you're considering studying medicine, you need to know that you are going to be the best doctor you can be. We've compiled this list of six essential traits you will need to be a great doctor to help you to see if you are you cut out to study medicine! This is by no means all that you will need, but it is a step in the right direction if you feel that you already possess some of these traits. 

1. Professionalism

It is of the utmost importance that you behave professionally in all your conduct. Your medical education will probably involve a discussion about what professionalism means and what you need to do in practice, but there are a couple of key concepts which are universal.

Doctor/patient confidentiality is extremely important. It is a fundamental strand of medical ethics. This also involves maintaining a professional distance from your patients. They need to feel safe in your company to disclose information at their discretion, and they need to be sure that anything they say will not leave your office.

Equally important is respect and fairness. A good doctor must be able to treat all patients equally, regardless of their ethnicity, lifestyle choices or conduct. Your job is to treat your patients, not to judge them.  


Doctors must maintain their professionalism at work at all times.

Read Our Interview with a GP - February 2016

2. Empathy

Research has shown that patients who feel that their doctor has made a genuine empathetic connection - an attempt to understand how they feel and how their condition is affecting their everyday life - will actually experience a reduction in pain.

If a patient feels they are being cared for by the right doctor who has taken an interest in their well-being, their body will suppress their awareness of the pain and they will experience a faster recovery. 

Conversely, the stress of having a bad doctor who doesn't show an interest can actually prolong the patient's suffering. Empathy is a very powerful thing and is an essential part of any doctor's bedside manner.

Read Our Interview with a Junior Doctor - January 2016


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