Qualities and the Role of a Good Doctor in Today's World
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”I was one of those kids who always said they wanted to be a doctor. However, I couldn't fully understand the responsibilities and what are qualities of a good doctor. I dedicate this essay reflection to my dream job - to become a doctor. A leader. A hero.
Years of the studying and training that goes with that misunderstanding of what should I do to become a doctor. That pipe dream of mine was not misguided, but simply naïve. I’ve since learned that being a doctor is far more than getting the two letters at the end of the name – their work is more than just a job title. Saying that their fundamental role is to ease everyone’s suffering is an understatement. Before any of that is possible, it takes enduring long nights, insufferable workloads, crippling doubts and unbearable stress all for our doctors to come knocking on our exam room door and warmly greet us a good morning. They are simply more than their profession – they are the leaders, providers, and protectors of life. They are the pillars of continuing growth of the healthcare – they are the agents that bridge the gap between science and society. They help us make sense of our symptoms and also understand what the healthcare system can and cannot do for us. Last, but definitely not the least, they are in charge to whosever life that is placed in their hand – applying the principles and procedures of medicine as clinical scientists to prevent, diagnose, care for and treat patients with illness, disease, or injury while maintaining physical and mental health in their pursuit of improving the quality of life of the people within the society.
There Is No List of Qualities of a Good Doctor - It is a State of Personality
They are the leaders of innovation. The world of medicine is dynamic – it changes as new technological trends emerge. At the same time, new diseases are being discovered that are resistant to antibiotic, and so as new ways of treating them. Doctors are in a continuing learning pursuit of scientific research and practice to the betterment of medical care and advancement of their discipline. Moreover, doctors are an important agent through which that scientific understanding is expressed – they bring human understanding of patients to medical research, and a researcher’s expertise to improving patients’ lives. This is an important function of a doctor as there are few absolutes in science, and without research and inquiring minds medicine will stand still.
I was 10 years old when my parents started to notice something quite different with the development of my facial structure – it was easy to spot because they had someone they could compare with of how I should look like, which was my twin sister. I developed a rare disorder that took half of my age for doctors to be certain of the diagnosis. Growing up, I heard rainbows of possibilities to which resulted my condition – some said it was inherited, some attributed it to my “mannerisms” at school, some would say it was a fault from pregnancy. A surgeon from Makati Medical Center studied my condition cautiously, consulted with his fellow colleagues and deduced a resounding diagnosis. After 18 years of uncertainties, my surgeon gave the most sensible explanation about my condition. My point is, doctors are providers of knowledge – they bridge the gap between science and those within the society. They help us make sense of imperceivable and make us understand what healthcare can and cannot do for them. With our nation's increasing confusion about ailments and preventive measures in spite of the glut of information out there, doctors bring wisdom, empathy and understanding to a system that provides neither. The doctors are the one we can turn into when the angst of life afflicts us – like me, they provide second chances of life to everyone, and may it be a medicine, a treatment, an intervention or a surgery.
And finally, they are the protectors of life. Perhaps the heaviest, the most challenging and yet the most fulfilling role of a doctor is the trust given to them by their patients – to restore and to better the quality of their life in whatever means possible. The weight of the patient’s condition and even their life, along with the emotional burden by their loved ones, are often carried by the doctors on their shoulders. Doctors are sometimes put into pedestal because of their professional responsibility to utilize their medical knowledge, scientific expertise, and ethical training to work for better public health. But medicine is more than the sum of our knowledge about disease. Medicine concerns the experiences, feelings, and interpretations of human beings in often extraordinary moments of fear, anxiety, and doubt. In this extremely vulnerable position, it is medical professionalism that underpins the trust the public has in doctors. In addition, they also are in the function of listening and being sensitive to the needs of those least able to speak for themselves, such as children, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. They enduringly listen to their patients who have a new concern, a new fear, or the courage to finally tell someone their deepest fear every day.
It is fairly easy to define in a few words what qualities makes a good doctor by saying who cures the most or who makes the best diagnosis. In contrast, to define the exact role of a good doctor in today’s society is rather a difficult task – it is multifaceted. However, another thing is certain, they continually pursue and advance the field of medicine, spearheading the innovation towards the betterment of medical care. They are the providers of knowledge – the agents that that expresses scientific information in such a way where the field is better understood. Lastly, they strive to improve the conditions of those in their care– they are responsible for the management and maintenance of care and assistance for patients across the continuum of care. As quoted by the famous TV show, Greys Anatomy, “The carousel never stops, you can’t get off” The doctors are in an interminable cycle of helping people ease their suffering – no amount of stress, birthday celebrations or holidays would stop these medical professionals in giving their service to the people within our society.