The experience a patient has with a doctor hinges on several factors that affect the perceived treatment and actual care. The Good Medical Practice has interviewed three figures in the medical world to cover the question of what makes a good doctor.
They handle uncertainty well
Doctors need to accumulate much information when it comes to making a diagnosis and taking action. Sometimes this will require deviating slightly from standard protocol. A good doctor, according to the GMC’s chair Sir Peter Rubin, will use their initiative. Doctors therefore also manage a level of risk, weighing up experience and knowledge to fully consider potential ramifications. This decision-making process should be transparent, with the final decision agreed by the patient. A good doctor will appreciate their role in a patient’s care and accept responsibility for it.
As of March 2018, there were 281,440 doctors registered on the List of Registered Medical Practitioners. With increasing strain on the NHS, it is more important than ever that doctors can adapt their abilities and qualities, regardless of the pressures.
They go with the flow
A good doctor will maintain best practice standards while keeping an open mind and staying current, given the ongoing change in treatments, research and technology. Change can also refer to day-to-day challenges, such as the ones those in GP locum jobs may face when working in a new practice with new clients. Staff from organisations such as http://www.thegplocumagency.co.uk/ will be focused in the face of change.
They build a relationship
Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, chairman of the Environment Agency, notes that the relationship between doctor and patient has greatly evolved. A good doctor will acknowledge this change and how the patient often has more knowledge and increased involvement in the process.
They are compassionate
The way a doctor comes across and responds to the patient is, according to the Northern Island Nurse of the Year 2010 Sister Donna Keenan, of great importance. They should be passionate yet decisive, empathic yet intelligently diligent. They will listen to their patient and give them, and their loved ones, time to absorb the situation. Ms Keenan also refers to a good doctor as being someone who is inspiring as a leader and teacher, shows competency, is calm under pressure, and is reliable and dedicated – all while being committed to the Hippocratic Oath.