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What characteristics make a good doctor?

When medical admissions committees review a potential candidate to become a physician, they consider that person’s characteristics, including; compassion, work ethic, knowledge, professionalism, confidence, humility, and passion among others. What characteristics are important to you when choosing a doctor?


Community Answers
  • VinnieCent moderator
    3 months ago

    I believe a lot of this question also has to do with the audience the doctor is speaking too. I was 15 when I was diagnosed with AML so I personally enjoyed a doctor that was personable, empathetic, and transparent in sharing their knowledge and insight with my family. At one point my mother had heard so many bad things about chemotherapy that she demanded I get a bone marrow transplant even though I was responding super well to chemo. I recall my doctor, very patiently and understandably observing my mothers concerns and still sharing her insight of why she felt like sticking with chemotherapy was best at the moment. Empathy is key!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    3 months ago

    I believe a good doctor is knowledgeable, to the point, and of course, compassionate.

  • Amber Lynch moderator
    4 months ago

    I think for me a “good doctor” is one who is caring and personal, but a matter of fact at the same time. I want someone who gives it to me straight but is not callous about it.

  • Racheli Alkobey moderator
    4 months ago

    I think that empathy is the utmost important quality and characteristic in a doctor is empathy. Without this trait in my doctor, I don’t think that I was able to receive the quality treatment that I did. This is the most important characteristic that my doctor had that I found to be extremely beneficial to my moral.

  • Bob McEachern
    4 months ago

    Crystal and Yolanda, I’d combine your answers. I want someone who knows that they’re talking about, but also knows how to listen. I’m looking at this backwards, and thinking about the worst doctor I ever had. He wouldn’t listen, and there were things he just wasn’t current on about my disease. Very frustrating, but he retired about a year after I started seeing him, which was good for both of us.

  • Crystal Harper moderator
    4 months ago

    I think every single one of those characteristics is important for everyone to have no matter what career field you’re in, but as we all know, most people don’t have all of them. As far as a doctor goes, the thing I mostly care about is knowledge. I would be willing to deal with poor bedside manners from a doctor if he/she was extremely knowledgeable. The best thing to do is meet with your doctor and go with your overall gut feeling of him/her. What characteristics are you willing to sacrifice for the ones that are most important to you? I also think personality makes a huge difference and the personalities between a doctor and the patient should mesh well.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    4 months ago

    It’s clear for some doctors they’re missing some if not all of these characteristics. I think about this recent buzz in school scandal, and the urge to get in the best to get the best job, yet not truly encompassing what it takes to do the job. To become a doctor is a huge thing and if you don’t have the people skills such as- humility, compassion, then why bother. I think compassion is big on my list!

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