What Makes a Good Physician? 5 Useful Skills

Good Physician Skills

When potential patients search around for a doctor, they’re usually checking for specific things. They want to know about their reputation and what insurances they take. That will get a person in your door, but keeping them loyal to you is a different story.

Good Physician Skills
Good Physician Skills

Many people graduate with their medical degrees every year. Gaining the knowledge to become a doctor is difficult, but not impossible. However, the skills that make a good physician go further than expertise.

The most successful medical practitioners are smart, of course. They also have these five useful skills to set them apart from the crowd.

1. Interpersonal Knowledge

You probably know it as a “bedside manner.” It goes well beyond the ability to appear calm and caring, though.

A successful physician has natural qualities of compassion and empathy. They care about their patients and are able to see them as individuals who are suffering with their own worries and concerns.

When you can put yourself in your patient’s shoes and understand their emotions, it shows through. This ability keeps a patient loyal and also reduces physician burnout because you feel the joys as well as the pain.

2. Business Acumen

A busy medical office is full of staff that run the show behind and in front of the scenes. But the key person tying it all together is the physician.

You can have an office manager, a billing company, and an accountant doing the legwork. If you don’t know what they’re doing enough to know they’re going in the right direction, any failure is on your shoulders, too.

With good business acumen, you know to sit with your accountant regularly and check over the books. You talk to your billing administrator frequently about upcoming changes in insurance regulations. Your office manager keeps you knowledgeable about the pulse of staff and patients.

Many people rely on you professionally and personally to be healthy and safe.

You take care of your own finances and invest in your future with health, life, and disability insurance precautions.

3. Respect Towards Others

Anyone can show deference and respect to those who have something to offer you. It’s how you act towards others, such as individuals in service positions and the elderly, that reveal your character. Respect is crucial in the healthcare industry.

A good physician doesn’t turn the respect switch on and off at will. It’s always there, running through their veins, in all interactions. From the janitor to the Alzheimer’s patient who can’t remember their own name, you know that everyone deserves basic human dignity.

Respect is one the key traits that will serve you well in every aspect of your life. As a physician, a disrespectful character can’t stay hidden for very long and could impact your entire reputation.

4. Forward-Thinking

The glass does not always have to be half-full. Life happens. Yet, if you don’t have the ability to focus on being in the present and building a future, the stress of your career can be heavy.

No matter what career path you choose, being in healthcare means you’re going to have some success stories and some failures. Hopefully, the good stories will outweigh the bad.

In fields like hospice, though, you know going into them that your job is to make a person’s remaining days dignified and comfortable. There are no “success” stories, but you stay strong and courageous.

A dedicated physician keeps the knowledge that they can continue to help others in the future at the front of their mind.

An optimistic personality by nature helps prevent stress when the hard times happen. Remember all the people you have helped and keep moving forward!

5. Integrity

Integrity is often defined as what you do when someone else is not looking. It’s how you behave when the choice is between what’s convenient and what’s right.

In the healthcare field, this can be a matter of life and death for patients. Your integrity shows up in how honest you are with them when bad news is on the line. It’s in choosing the best medication or course of treatment, even if you get a kickback for selecting a different one.

Staying true to your morals and values will guide you into a successful career as a physician and boost your reputation immensely.

Conclusion

Medical school taught you about the intellectual skills you’ll need to be a talented and knowledgeable physician. But being a good doctor goes beyond academics and blends know-how with character traits.

These five elements of behavior can determine your success as a doctor and how much you enjoy your career!