“ABC” of being a Good Doctor

"ABC" of being a Good Doctor

“To be a doctor, then, means much more than to dispense pills or to patch up or repair torn flesh and shattered minds. To be a doctor is to be an intermediary between man and GOD” (Felix Marti-Ibanez in To Be a Doctor).

“One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient” (Frances W Peabody in The Care of the Patient).

“Being a good doctor means being incredibly compulsive. It has nothing to do with flights of intuition or brilliant diagnoses or even saving lives. It’s dealing with a lot of people with chronic diseases that you really can’t change or improve. You can help patients. You can make a difference in their lives, but you do that mostly by drudgery—day after day, paying attention to details, seeing patient after patient and complaint after complaint, and being responsive on the phone when you don’t feel like being responsive” (John Pekkanen in MD—Doctors Talk About Themselves).

“You can’t know it all. And even if you knew everything that anyone else knows (which you can’t, so stop worrying about it), you still wouldn’t know what you need to know to help many patients” (Perri Klass in A Not Entirely Benign Procedure).

Some of the qualities that a good doctor should possess are measurable, others are not. A good doctor should be:

A: attentive (to patient’s needs), analytical (of self), authoritative, accommodating, adviser, approachable, assuring

B: balanced, believer, bold (yet soft), brave

C: caring, concerned, competent, compassionate, confident, creative, communicative, calm, comforter, conscientious, compliant, cooperative, cultivated

D: detective (a good doctor is like a good detective), a good discussion partner, decisive, delicate (don’t play “God”)

E: ethical, empathy, effective, efficient, enduring, energetic, enthusiastic

F: friendly, faithful to his or her patients, flexible

G: a “good person,” gracious

H: a “human being,” honest, humorous, humanistic, humble, hopeful

I: intellectual, investigative, impartial, informative

J: wise in judgment, jovial, just

K: knowledgeable, kind

L: learner, good listener, loyal

M: mature, modest

N: noble, nurturing

O: open minded, open hearted, optimistic, objective, observant

P: professional, passionate, patient, positive, persuasive, philosopher

Q: qualified, questions self (thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions)

R: realistic, respectful (of autonomy), responsible, reliever (of pain and anxiety), reassuring

S: sensitive, selfless, scholarly, skilful, speaker, sympathetic

T: trustworthy, a great thinker (especially lateral thinking), teacher, thorough, thoughtful

U: understanding, unequivocal, up to date (with literature)

V: vigilant, veracious

W: warm, wise, watchful, willingness to listen, learn, and experiment

Y: yearning, yielding

Z: zestful.

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