Top Five Qualities of a Good Doctor

The right physician can make all the difference when it comes to meeting your health care needs. It’s natural to seek the best and most knowledgeable doctor, but how do you know when you’ve found that person? Although every physician is different, there are key signs to look for when seeking the right one for you.


The best doctors maintain professionalism at all times. They respect doctor-patient confidentiality and follow medical ethics to the letter. A professional doctor is no respecter of persons; he or she treats patients regardless of lifestyle choices, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, age, or disability. The professional physician maintains some distance, so as not to favor some patients over others.


Professional distance does not mean lack of compassion. The best physicians treat their patients with warmth and empathy, also called bedside manner. Studies have shown that patients who believe they have empathetic doctors recover more quickly and completely. In contrast, patients whose doctors stress them out may actually get worse.


Sometimes, health care professionals must make diagnoses quickly so treatment can begin. However, the best doctors ask insightful questions and spend as much time with their patients as possible. They are good at building rapport to put their patients at ease. The best doctors “do their homework”; they read up on their patients and respond to what they find out from medical histories as well as current visits.


Good physicians are researchers and innovators. He or she keeps up with new findings, technologies, and tests. The best physicians use such findings to improve patient care every day. They are willing to learn and try something different when older methods don’t seem to work. A progressive physician is less likely to make mistakes or dismiss patient concerns, even if those concerns seem minor or repetitive.


Doctors cope with massive amounts of stress each day. The best physicians have especially calm and thoughtful approaches. They stay in control, which reassures patients and their families that they will receive excellent care.

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