Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

So what makes a good doctor?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Lindlar, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Lindlar

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    What makes a good doctor? And I don't want the generic 'altruistic, empathetic, hardworking', give me your opinion.

    I think that a good doctor realizes that he is a member of a service industry, meaning the he is a servant of the people, and not the other way around. He should be grateful for his position, and in gratitude, treat each of his patients as if they were his superior... Egocentricity runs in the field, I think, not because of the of type of people that the field draws in, but the effect the medical field has on them.
    The best doctors that I have met were generally the most humble.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    I think the best docs are those that balance their humility and kindness with their scientific/medical knowledge.
     
    RespectTheChemistry19 likes this.
  3. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Basketkitten is amused.

    Intelligence. Perserverance. Empathy. A bit of charm.

    Your opinion is.... noted and dismissed. By basketkitten.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Lindlar

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    You might want to work on the charm part.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. nick_carraway

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,556
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    A 24 year old female URM art history major with 4.0, 45T, Olympic athlete from Alaska who wins Nobel prizes when home from mission trips.

    That's right. I said it.
     
    #5 nick_carraway, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  6. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    You've clearly never met basketkitten. Or me.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Lindlar

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Can you blame me? This is my.. *ding*, 4th post.
    Also, kokoThe Ultimate AMCAS Essay by Daniel Guttman

    I felt fortunate to awaken from my weeks-long life-threatening coma in the Zimbabwe orphanage in which I was raised from infancy, until I realized the building was ablaze. After evacuating all the inhabitants including any stray insects who were drawn to the flames, I doused the fire with a water pump I had improvised from an old accordion bellows (on which I often played Bach fugues a la Albert Schweitzer) and a bamboo-like plant I had discovered in the jungle. I named the plant Medusa Abandona after my now forgiven American born mother, who forsook me in my cradle, only after it turned out to be an unknown genus and promised to have exciting anti-cancer medicinal qualities as well. When I was convinced that everyone in the orphanage was safe, I escaped the holocaust in the solar powered wheel chair I had developed to give myself more mobility after the unfortunate accident I had as a child, breaking my seventh vertebra while wrestling a lion that had terrorized the village.

    When I was seven, the only doctor within a 300 mile radius took me under his wing. I shadowed him for ten years, which was quite difficult when you consider the dense jungle foliage and lack of sunlight at ground level. The fact that he was a witch doctor should in no way denigrate his skills nor the efficacy of his spells. If you accept me into your next medical class, I intend to teach my fellow students a series of hexes that will eliminate the need for Viagra, Allegra, Grecian Formula and Formula 409.

    Most of my adolescence I spent draining swamps, eliminating mosquitoes and generally reducing the malarial plague in three contiguous countries in equatorial Africa. It was only after saving the lives of ten's of thousands of people that I decided to become a doctor in hope that over the course of my career I might be able to save just a few more. The journey to medicine was difficult. It was a choice between being a doctor and being a shoemaker, but after I taught everyone in my village how to make their own shoes there was no need to pursue this noble profession.

    Harvard was reluctant to let me go after I got straight "A"s as the first graduate in their new correspondence bachelors degree program but with five majors and 12 books to my credit they finally acknowledged (see attached letter) that they had nothing left to teach me. My economics honors thesis was entitled "Grade Inflation at Harvard: The Great Hoax."

    Given my academic prowess, imagine then how mortified I was to receive only a 44 aggregate AMCAS score. Those of you at AMCAS reading this, who may have contributed to writing the April exam, should be ashamed of yourselves. In the passage on "Halitosis" you referred to the sufferer as having "bad breadth". The patient could certainly be circumferentially challenged but I assumed a typo had been committed and that you meant he had "bad breath" and answered accordingly. My fellow hapless examinees' incorrect answers to question 39 should be stricken and the exam be recalibrated accordingly.

    In short, becoming a doctor may seem humdrum and a come down compared to my life so far, but I am willing to unlearn a few things so I won't be so far ahead of my fellow medical classmates. And don't worry about my disability; I can still perform an angioplasty and thread several needles while doing 500 one-armed finger pushups.

    This essay was written by Daniel Guttman, a long-suffering parent of a medical school applicant, and is reprinted here with his permission. He is also the proud father and creator of Cartoonjazz.com which has some of the best medical, educational and other downright hilarious cartoons this side of the funny papers. They make great gifts for graduates, would be graduates and slackers as well for anyone who knows or has ever heard of the above. Go to cartoonjazz.com and enjoy or call 732-283-8700 and kvell.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. nick_carraway

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,556
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ha! I love "With five majors and 12 books to my credit they finally acknowledged (see attached letter) that they had nothing left to teach me."

    CLASSIC.

    I also think it's good that it's written by "a long-suffering parent of a medical school applicant." We tend to forget that we drag our loved ones down with us when we go through this dark, unhappy journey.
     
  9. nick_carraway

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,556
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think "good doctor" is a loaded statement anyway. If I need a surgeon with great technical skill, I don't frankly care if he's compassionate or not.

    I just need him to cut and to cut well. I don't need to like the person.

    With this push in med schools to teach empathy and professionalism, are we producing better doctors now than we did when we didn't emphasize those qualities? Debatable.

    ===

    Let it be known that this is post #2000.

    I will now leave SDN. Goodbye world.
     
  10. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Call me cold, but here is my opinion from the perspective of a patient.

    The best doctor is the one who cures or most effectively treats the illness. I would expect, then, that the personal qualities likely to make a good doctor include the following (listed pyramid-ically for style points):

    Intelligence
    Perserverence
    Strong work ethic
    Desire to succeed
    Responsibility & accountability

    Other qualities are great; As jurrassicpark noted, empathy is desirable. A friendly version of House, M.D. would clearly be preferable to the actual House, M.D. (unless you're a hard-core fan, that is). However, I believe that, at the core of the matter, it would take a ton of compassion and care to compensate for a minute amount of clinical ability. I'm willing to tolerate a substantial amount of rudeness, bluntness and the like from a physician if I'm confident that he or she will succeed in making me healthy again.
     
  11. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    If I'm completely confident, yes to blunt. Equivocation is rarely helpful. Being rude is almost never.

    I fired my orthpedic surgeon of record because he was consistently a jerk and didn't seem to really know what he was doing or care-- vote of no confidence from me. He's head of his division at a major center. Oops.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Indeed, in my experience, there's usually some kind of correlation between skill and demeanor. I've found highly skilled doctors to come off as friendly, and somewhat questionable physicians to be short and coarse.

    I just mean to state that dealing with a jerk is worth being cured or treated properly. There's certainly a limit to acceptable rudeness, but I think it is, in practice, pretty high (and rightly so, in my opinion). If I want hospitality, I'll go to a hotel. :p
     
  13. Narmerguy

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,878
    Likes Received:
    1,297
    According to SDN, anyone who doesn't have a 38+ MCAT or 3.9+ GPA.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    13,169
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    [​IMG]
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. variablistic

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    As someone alluded to earlier, it highly depends on the specialty. I don't care if my surgeon is the biggest jerk ever. His job is cutting. However, if I'm in the walk-in clinic, or in my doctor's office, I don't want to be talking to a jerk, because that's going to affect the history I give. I don't remember the statistic, but something like 80% of your diagnosis comes from the patient interview.

    So, I say it depends.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Medical Student
    1. Intelligence
    2. Intelligence
    3. Intelligence
    4. you get the point...
     
  17. go lakers

    go lakers Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Also, I think knowing your strengths and limitations is a huge factor in determing your abilities as a physician. It takes a certain level of maturity and ability to put ego aside to admit when you are in over your head and need assistance or an expert's advice.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. Zona Pellucida

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,446
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    A social, intelligent person.


    I think the social aspect is not harped on enough as who wants a socially awkward doctor? I like to feel comfortable and build a relationship with my doctor and if they are nervous and shy, I do not feel as comfortable around them.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    9
    Demeanor actually varies more with specialty than knowledge or skill. Surgeons tend to be coarser and to the point. Pediatricians tend to be happy and friendly. Internal med docs can often be too intelligent for their own good and are socially awkward. Anyone in gyn onc is often straight up mean. I think that your perception of "questionable" physicians being short and coarse has more to do with you perceiving them as short and coarse and then projecting that on to your assessment of their skill level, which would be consistent with most patients. Patients are less likely to sue physicians who they feel are empathetic, do their best and communicate well. They are also more likely to return to these physicians. It doesn't mean they're the smartest on the block, but who wants to see a physician who is mean to them?
     
  20. nick_carraway

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,556
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Agreed!
     
  21. BluntSurgeon

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Personally, the best doctors that I have worked with were all egocentric with god-complexes. The reason I say this is because they turned out to be (or at least what I thought) the smartest and most accurate diagnosticians. I like my doctors to be this way too because it lets me know that this doc means business when it comes to my health. I think cushy/feely is for some people, but definitely not for me.

    I guess that's the point of this thread and the same reason why medical schools push diversity so much. Health care can serve a diverse population only if it compromised of diversity itself.
     

Share This Page