The most important question to ask ourselves is, Who is a good doctor? what he/she is composed off? how do they look like? how do they feel like? how do they function? etc etc. You get where I am going.

I want to know the framework to build a good doctor, so we all know each individual is basically composed of three things for the man-made world i.e. 3 H’s – Head, Hand, and Heart. So how does the good doctor is composed of these 3 H’s, let’s see?

But first, let’s see what an ideal doctor is defined as – An ‘ideal’ doctor could be defined as one having personal qualities for interpersonal relationships, proficiency in knowledge, technical skills and good intentions.(2)

1. Head – according to Raul A et al research data(2), the patient expects a good doctor to have the following head features – Scientifically proficient (diagnostic, therapeutic, and technical skills; competence and accuracy; proficiency in knowledge) and Tells the truth (is honest, no lies).

2. Hand –  Scientifically proficient (diagnostic, therapeutic, and technical skills; competence and accuracy; proficiency in knowledge), Adapts to each individual patient (uses shared-decision making approach and involves patients in decisions), Available (devotes enough time during the consultation; does not make a routine work; devotes time for care, has availability of appointments, listens and does not hurry the patient), Works in the team.

3. Heart (A most important part of a good doctor (1)) –
Sensitive to emotions (listens to and understands the patient’s needs and emotional problems, empathy), Positive personality characteristics (kind, warm, smiling, respectful, identifies the patient by name; good interpersonal relationship), Skilled in communication (gives information tailored to the patient; gives detailed information about the patient’s illness), Not interested in money.

Here is a Ted Talk by Dr. Brian Goldman, he shared his experience of medical errors and on importance of being a good enough doctor –


References :

1. Alpert, Joseph S, and William H Frishman. “The Most Important Qualities for the Good Doctor.” The American journal of medicine, S0002-9343(20)31012-3. 11 Nov. 2020, doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.11.002

2. Borracci, Raúl A et al. “What patients consider to be a ‘good’ doctor, and what doctors consider to be a ‘good’ patient.” Revista medica de Chile vol. 148,7 (2020): 930-938. doi:10.4067/S0034-98872020000700930

3. Salisbury, Helen. “Helen Salisbury: Being a good enough doctor.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 371 m4712. 8 Dec. 2020, doi:10.1136/bmj.m4712


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