To become a doctor is one thing but to decide that you want to become a doctor is another. As Sudha Murthy quotes in her famous book, Wise and Otherwise, “If a patient dies, it is just one more hospital death for the doctor. But for the unfortunate family, it is a permanent loss.” Such is the magnanimity of becoming a doctor.
While we all know that pursuing medicine requires a lot of hard work with regards to studies, it is even more crucial to understand that a right skillset is required to pursue a field which entrusts so much responsibility on someone. Let’s delve deeper into understanding which skills are needed to pursue this noble field for someone who is looking to venture into afresh.
For starters, emotional intelligence plays a key role in communicating a diagnosis with patients. Displaying tact and sensitivity in grave situations while maneuvering the conversation into laying emphasis on what is urgent requires great communication skills. Oftentimes, the recipient may not be in a position to hear any ill news, and as a result, displaying emotional maturity comes as a given. Professionalism at the behest of empathy, understanding, and sensitivity is encouraged and these qualities must be imbibed by someone wanting to pursue the field of medicine.
We are all aware that diagnosing any particular medical issue is essentially detective work and we are also aware that a good detective is one which is skilled at solving problems and taking calculated decisions. The same goes for a doctor. An aspirant is, of course, expected to gain all knowledge through his studies, however, thinking out of the box when it comes to solving any medical condition is also actively advocated. On occasion, you may find your assumptions do not match with what the tests show or vice-versa. There may also be moments where the most common symptoms may be a cause for something quite unexpected. In times like these, problem-solving skills come handy and become a prerequisite to anyone wanting to pursue doctoral studies.
Tactful Decision Making
The final say in any delivery of treatment or medicine is in the hands of the doctor. No one else is in any position to go against the doctor or advice otherwise. Your say will be the one which will bear the consequences, positive or negative and as a result, inculcating the skill of calculative decision-making is a must. Paying close attention to details of whatever issue is posed in front of you, researching and gaining enough insight on your assumption before finally deriving a conclusion, needless to say, goes into the job description of a good doctor.
Leadership & Teamwork
On multiple occasions, you will find yourself working with a team of doctors or even be in a position where you will be leading a team of doctors yourself. In such scenarios, the skill of leading a situation by experience and not just by imparting wisdom to fellow doctors come into play. The ability to collaborate and form healthy relationships with colleagues will only facilitate your work and make you a part of a positive work environment. In a field where resilience forms by itself over the years, these skills are one which will truly make you stand out in your field, all cognitive skills set apart.
On occasion, your ability to treat or cure someone’s loved one may be set aside by that person who is in a state of upheaval. However, in moments like these, ensuring that you display professionalism and not engage in any form of conduct that will impact your profile and goodwill is vital. As a result, treating individuals in a courteous manner, making them feel comfortable, and seeing to it that the delivery of treatment and conduct displayed by those around is most welcoming displays all signs of professionalism.
Developing skills that are ideally passive in nature but truly determine the kind of doctor you are can oftentimes, get overlooked. With the impending books to research through and constantly staying updated with the latest technology in medicine, these skills can take a back seat. As a result, refining your soft skills actively is a must in wanting to become a successful doctor.