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Who is a good doctor

Who is a good doctor

The definition of a good athlete, a good prosecutor, or a good artiste is fairly easy. It’s the one who scores most goals, the one who puts most criminals behind bars, and the one who sells millions of albums. The best soccer team is the one that takes home the most trophies. Having said that however, I must point out that arsenal in my opinion still remains the better team albeit it’s poor goal record.

On the other hand, what makes a good doctor is more difficult to define. Using specific parameters to measure how good a doctor is, is one of the biggest challenges for health managers. The best doctor is not the one who heals most patients, because in many specialties, cure is not the goal of patient management. In fact some of the best doctors I know are in specialties that take care of patients with terminal illnesses.

It’s not the one whose patients live the longest, because in many situations we need to add life to our patients’ days rather than adding days to their lives. In fact in some circumstances prolonging/sustaining life may be considered undesirable by the patient and his/her loved ones.
It’s not the cleverest or most knowledgeable one since there’s still so much we don’t know in medicine, that if that were the only parameter we’d all fall short.

Not the one with the best people skills, because that’s not enough in the craft of medicine. It’s definitely not the one who rakes in the most money for their practice. In my opinion however these are parameters we can’t trash wholesome when we attempt to define the attributes of a good doctor. Enough of what a good doctor is not.

To different people a good doctor means different things but there are some key attributes that most people agree on.

That’s the summary of who I want my doctor to be. What’s yours?

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