What defines a good doctor? On the basis of sources such as the British Medical Council and interviews with patients it is possible to divide the qualities needed to be a good doctor in to two categories. The first of these categories involves qualities associated with creating a good doctor-patient relationship. The attributes required for this include good communication skills as well as a caring and polite manner towards patients. The second category involves the doctor's clinical competence and includes factors such as knowing the limits of their professional abilities. A good doctor should be able to show a high aptitude in both of these categories.
A good doctor is one that has a doctor-patient relationship such that the patient feels comfortable whilst staying in hospital. To promote this type of relationship a doctor must have good communication skills. The significance of this ability is emphasized by the B.M.C dictating that the the "duties" of a doctor are to "....listen to patients and give information to patients in a way they can understand." The importance of good communication skills is two fold. Firstly, it is necessary for a doctor when trying to make a diagnosis to be able to extract information about the patients' injuries or illness and their clinical history. The importance of this listening ability is closely related to a doctor's clinical competency and is discussed later.
The second significance of good communication skills is to find out any worries or apprehensions a patient might have. Many patients (including those interviewed during the C.L.S ward visit) feel uncomfortable in hospitals. Consequently, they feel nervous and worried about whatever illness they are suffering from as well as the medical treatment they receive. A good doctor is one that takes the time to listen to the patient's questions and worries and then tries to answer those questions with the effect that the patient's worries are relieved. This is a good...
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