Other than all the medical knowledge you have to learn, what makes a good doctor? The ability to diagnose patients correctly, compassion, and resilience. Sounds easy, right? There are other determinants when it comes to being a doctor. At the end of the day, even doctors are human. You need to choose medicine because you have a passion for helping people and enjoy spending time in the hospital.

If you are interested in a career in medicine but are not sure if it is the right career for you, this article will be a useful resource for you. Keep reading to learn some attributes associated with good doctors.

You can take criticism

You are human and are bound to make mistakes at some point. You need to be able to admit when you are wrong and say “I don’t know” if you are not sure of something. You can ask for opinions from other doctors or run more tests. This shows you care about the patients and do not want to risk their health by giving the wrong diagnosis.

Medicine is complex by itself and you will not always have the answer. Sometimes, you will need to ask for more help or do more tests or even both before you can make a diagnosis.

You have a high IQ and EQ

When doctors make wrong diagnoses, it is because they stick to one script without considering that the problem could be more complicated. At times, the illness is not physical but psychological. Doctors who only pay attention to the physical aspect end up not treating the cause of the problem which can make it accelerate.

Being a good doctor is not all about hitting the books. As much as you need to focus on your studies, you also need to pay attention to the patient. By paying attention to the patient, you will be surprised at the number of times psychological problems manifest as physical symptoms. By treating the psychological problem, you can help the patient heal from any physical symptoms. The only way you can do this is by connecting with the patient on an emotional level.

You have good observation and listening skills

Patients will always tell you what is wrong with them. All you need to do is pay attention. In this internet era, it is not surprising to find the patient having a clue of what is bothering them. You can start by having them tell you what they think is wrong. That will make the patient feel like you are attentive to them.

After you listen to their theories, you can go explaining to them where they are right and where they went wrong. You can also learn a lot from the medical history of the patient. Be attentive when they are talking about their family history and you might find out the problems a patient has and information on the best treatment to administer. Having good listening and observation skills will help you sort out the relevant things from the information you are given.

You are a go-getter

You will not always have easy cases. There are times patients will come with difficult cases that need additional effort. Patients want a doctor who will not give up on them simply because they have a hard time getting the right diagnosis. If you are quick to rise to challenges, you are suited for a career in medicine. This persistence and perseverance will also be useful in medical school where you need it if you are going to graduate with good grades.


Junior doctors are known to run every test under the sun since they do not have confidence in their abilities. When faced with a difficult case, you will need to run several tests so you can rule out illnesses. You need to trust your hypothesis. Do not waste time running irrelevant tests when your instinct says otherwise. You will only waste valuable resources that would have benefitted someone. If you believe in a particular diagnosis and have the facts to support it, then go for it and do all the tests you need. However, if you are not confident, you are better off getting a second opinion.

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