Just What The Patient Ordered: The Traits All The Best Doctors Have In Common

We all know what it can be like to go to the doctor’s office and not get the service we want. It can be heartbreaking, especially when we think there’s something seriously wrong with our health. But then there are other times when the visit to the doctor’s office is fantastic, and they understand our needs perfectly.

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Here we’re going to look at some of the traits that make a wonderful doctor. Does your doctor stack up?

Empathy

Research shows that doctors who show empathy toward their patients make their patients feel better. It’s a sort of psychosomatic effect having somebody there who understands what you’re going through. And it can make a big difference.

 

All too often, however, doctors struggle with empathy. Seeing dozens of patients, day after day, can make the job feel more like a process. But here’s the kicker: doctors who show genuine empathy toward their patients will see them recover more quickly. Patients who have a bad doctor will feel more stressed and, therefore, more in pain. Bedside manner is more important than the majority of doctors realize.

Forward Thinking

Medical science changes all the time, as do the types of conditions people get. That’s why the best doctors commit to lifelong learning to understand the diseases of their patients. Influenza CME for doctors is a must, since the flu can strike large chunks of the population at a moment’s notice.

Doctors must also be skeptical and dispassionate when reading studies in journals. There have been plenty of studies that have been discredited over the years, some of which were very influential. Take the MMR scandal. Here a British scientist claimed that there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The evidence was later found to be fabricated and insufficient. And yet many doctors believed that the vaccine was dangerous.

Or what about hormone replacement therapy? Women were prescribed hormone replacement therapy for decades to reduce the effects of the menopause. But it was only with the results of the Women’s Health Study in 2005 that they discovered it increased breast cancer risk. Disasters like this happen all the time in medicine. So doctors not only need to know about the latest medical findings, they need to critique them as well.

Attention To Detail

In most cases, doctors are rushed off their feet. There are too many patients to see and too little time to see them. Many doctors will try to deal with this by rushing patients through the door at a rapid clip. But this isn’t a good way to build patient trust or a meaningful relationship.

Good doctors spend time getting to know their patients. The more information they have about a patient, the more they’ll be able to offer potential solutions. You might not think that some of your behaviors are related to your illness. But doctors can often make connections that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. The best doctors go that extra mile to find out what’s troubling their patients.

They Have Composure

Being a doctor can be a stressful experience. The health and life of other people is often in their hands. Some of the injuries that doctors see can be truly horrific, especially those following car accidents or shootings.

A great doctor is able to hold their nerves in these situations and react to unfamiliar circumstances. Doctors must be able to act calmly, even under the greatest stress. Often the best doctors are the ones that have the highest immunity to the emotional distress of those around them. All they see is a body in trouble, and they have to use tools as best they can to put it back together again.

They Are Committed And Industrious

Working in the healthcare sector often means working long hours in stressful situations. Plus, you never know when a medical emergency will strike. Therefore, you need a doctor who is prepared to come out and see you, even if it’s the weekend or a public holiday.

They Are Professionals

Most doctors are professional in the way in which they conduct themselves. But, as with any group of people, there are those that aren’t. It’s important, therefore, that you seek out a doctor who behaves professionally at all times. For starters, the doctor must respect doctor/patient confidentiality. It’s a mainstay of medical ethics, and essential to anybody looking to develop a relationship based on trust. You need to feel safe to disclose information, and you need to know that your doctor won’t pass on what you’ve said.

Great doctors also treat all their patients the same, regardless of their background or other characteristics.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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