For many individuals, visiting a physician’s office can be stressful and nerve-racking. Patients seek out physicians who can emphasize and understand their needs. They want someone who they can trust to provide them with the right course of treatment. They want the ideal physician! While each physician is unique in their own way, there are a few common qualities that most patients look for in their physicians.
Empathetic: Patients seek help from physicians who understand and relate to their feelings. Research shows that patients tend to feel more content and motivated to continue with treatment when their physicians respond empathetically to their needs. As a physician, it is important to listen to your patients’ stories and offer them support. Only by listening can you get a real understanding of what they are experiencing, both physically and emotionally.
Communicative: Communication is a central part of health care. How you communicate information to your patients is just as important as the information itself. While patients want to feel that their doctors have vast knowledge in the medical field, they also want to be able to understand what their doctors tell them. Patients want to learn how to better manage their conditions, understand their treatment options and be able to open up about any other health problems they might be experiencing.
Confident: More than anything, patients want to be able to trust their physician’s skills and knowledge. They want someone who can address their concerns and put them at ease during difficult times. As a physician, your job is to instill confidence in your patients and reassure them that they are receiving the best possible treatment. By expressing strong and healthy confidence, you will be listened to and respected as a medical professional.
Reachable: Whether a patient is coming in for a regular physical check-up or seeking a specific diagnosis for their condition, you should be prepared to answer any phone calls or text messages and make necessary appointments. Your patients want to be able to contact you in the event of an emergency. They want a physician who is available to them and one they can approach with any questions or fears.
Passionate: Passion is a trait that separates a good physician from a great physician. Your desire to practice medicine and improve the lives of countless individuals is what your patients respond to most. They want to be talked to as regular individuals and not treated as medical problems. Your patients want a physician who is caring, compassionate, driven and dedicated to their work.
Knowledgeable: It’s safe to say that patients value a physician’s knowledge above all.Going into surgery, starting chemotherapy or even being prescribed new medications can cause concern and uneasiness in most patients. They want a physician who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide quality care. By staying on top of the latest medical trends and advancements in technology, you can safely meet your patients’ needs and develop trusting relationships.
Professional: No one gets a second chance to make a first impression. A poor first impression can diminish patient confidence and reduce overall patient experience. In the medical field, professionalism is demonstrated through communications skills, clinical competence, and ethical understanding. A physician who is professional puts a patient’s well-being at the top of their list, values their decisions and treats them with respect. You must make the effort to get to know your patients and make them feel welcome and comfortable in their surroundings. Several studies show that a patient will have greater trust and confidence in your abilities as a physician when they are greeted with proper etiquette.
The ideal physician is not one who cures the most patients. The ideal physician is not one who knows more medical facts. The ideal physician is not one who gives the best diagnoses. The ideal physician is not one who discovers new treatment methods. The ideal physician is not one who is the most compassionate and honest with patients. The ideal physician is not judged by their outcomes.
A physician is defined as ideal only when he or she has as many as possible of the above qualities. The ideal physician acknowledges what their patients are going through. He or she guides patients to better understand and manage their conditions. He or she inspires confidence in patients and is available to them when they are in need. The ideal physician is driven by passion, aims to provide the best quality care and greets patients with a smile.
These are just a few attributes that stand out. They are not the commandments for being a good physician. In fact, there is no limit to learning and teaching quality values and there is no single word to describe “the ideal physician”. Being a good physician begins with your ability to listen and build relationships based on trust. In the end, the most important thing is for your patients to feel happier and healthier when they leave your office. Just as you did on your first day as a physician, you should continue asking yourself: “How can I become a better physician?”
There is no one right answer to this question. Ultimately, the best medicine to which your patients will respond to is you. If you continue to learn and grow as a medical professional, then you are the ideal physician!