Medical college is tough and when we pass through our clinical years, it is the toughest of all. Many of us want to be amazing doctors, but most of us do not have an idea about how to be one! Books don’t teach us to be an amazing doctor. It is our attitude and our soft skills that make us much more than an average doctor. Here are a 7 tips to become that awesome doctor you want to be!
1. Do not be stingy at work. Woah! This is not about spending money! This is about spending time!
For example, when the staff nurse asks you, “Doctor, who is responsible for Mr. XYZ? or, Doc, Who is treating bed 4?”. The wrong answer will be “not me”, or “Let it be, it’s Dr Z’s case anyway”, the awesome answer will be “Is there a problem with the patient?”.
This is because usually when the staff nurse asks a question about a patient, there must be something she/he wanted to tell you about that particular patient. Well, sometimes she might just want to tell that the patient has a high blood pressure that can be managed by you. Why shouldn’t you take responsibility if it will save time for the patient’s physician? The patient and the doctor would both benefit from your intervention!
2. Treat patients who are non compliant/defaulters/homebirth ladies nicely.
These people sometimes have a negative perception of the hospital environment and most doctors look down on them. There must be a reason that particular patient did not want medical treatment and by being nice to them, maybe we can change the patient’s perception to our hospital.
3. Help each other.
We work as a team, and our top priority is to make patients healthier and improve their quality of life. The is no such thing as “I do my work, you do your job”, eg, STAT medication can be served by us, we need not wait for the staff nurse. She may already be under a stiff workload and your patient may have to wait till she finishes medicating the other 20 or so patients. Another example is if we’re fit enough, why not run the blood work to the lab ourselves and not waiting for the attendant.
4. We cannot control other peoples opinion about us.
There have been articles in the news papers and social media accusing Doctors and other allied medical workers as being corrupt and it has come to a level where many doctors have written they will not let their kids take up medicine! Remember, not everyone needs to be answered to. The more people you treat, the better is your response to all these baiters. It’s simple, if deep inside, we know what we are doing is right and not worry about the perception some people have, that is all which matters. Over time, these things will stop to matter and the good will you generate will put an end to such nonsense.
5. Spend time with your patient, let them get time to know how awesome you are.
And no, when you’re with the patient, don’t be the silent, serious, frowning faced doctor. The patients Diabetes Mellitus may end up in Diabetic Keto Acidosis just by looking at you. Chat with the patient about his/her illness, make them happy. Laughter is the best medicine.
6. Do not compare your degree with other professions and do not be an arrogant fool.
If you do not know, ask!! Ask the ones who work longer than you. Ask the Medical Assistant, ask the staff nurse, usually they know more than you practically. Arrogant fools will not get very far in medical field. Just having an MD or MBBS against your name, doesn’t beat years of experience handling patients. Just because your books mention so and so is characteristic of certain conditions, you do not rule out other problems. Keep others opinion in mind!
7. Do not show your stress to others especially the patients.
I’ve been through a lot lately, but I try as best as I can to keep calm and cool in front of the patient. Don’t be a moody bitch, couldn’t get along with your spouse this morning? Don’t start abusing your assistant! Don’t start taking our your frustration on the interns, your colleagues and your patient. Nobody likes such a doctor.
Try these mantras and let me know whether you’re finding any changes in how people perceive you as a doctor. If nothing, it is sure to guarantee that you will at least have better health and a fulfilling career.