All doctors are not created equal – and that holds true for how they’re perceived by their patients. While the obvious statement is that a good physician should be concerned about their patients’ health and wellbeing, there are many qualities that enable a doctor to be viewed as one of the best.

So what makes a great doctor? While there’s no single ingredient, excellence most often comes down to how a physician is perceived by the patient.

That’s because for many patients, going to the doctor’s office can be a nerve-racking experience on a scale right up there with the fear of public speaking. If a patient feels their current physician isn’t meeting their needs, they have the option of seeking care from another clinician.

While each doctor may be unique, there are certain qualities shared by some of the best physicians working today. Here are five of them:


1.) Clear Patient Communication

The job of a physician requires great communication skills – especially when it comes to speaking and listening. The way in which a physician communicates information to a patient is just as important as the information being communicated. Patients who understand their doctors are more likely to admit their health problems, understand their treatment options, adjust their unhealthy patterns, and obediently follow their medication schedules.

2.) Compassion

Physicians aren’t robots. They’re not just there to insensitively deliver prognoses or mechanically perform complex surgeries. They need heart. Patients respond better to a physician who is empathetic to their needs, so focus on exercising courtesy and compassion with your patients. By practicing these skills, a doctor is better equipped to meet the demands of practicing medicine and mastering the essentials of patient care.

3.) Professionalism

Some doctors exhibit more professionalism than others. Professionalism isn’t clearly defined in the dictionary, but in the medical field, it’s generally accepted as acting with appropriate demeanor, respect, concern, and possessing proficiency to perform the job. A doctor who is professional is compelled to always put the patient’s well-being above their own self-interests. A patient will have greater trust and confidence in a doctor’s abilities when their visits are conducted with good manners and respect.

4.) Demonstrating Knowledge

Physicians need to have the highest level of medical knowledge that can be recalled at a moment’s notice. They also have to stay on top of the latest medical news and trends, which could contradict something that has changed since medical school.  In other words, as advancements are made in the field, the best physicians learn new information that enhances or counters what you’ve already committed to memory. This not only enables a higher level of patient care but enables a great feeling of trust.

5.) A Passion for Medicine

Promising med school applicants don’t become physicians because of the salary. They apply because they have a passion for the study and practice of medicine. Their passion makes them disciplined and willing to sacrifice other opportunities to better their career. If a doctor is dedicated to improving the lives of others and can spend long nights hovering over patient charts, they’re driven to be the best.


As a leading family- and woman-owned healthcare employment agency, SpotOn Recruiting is experienced in helping physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants find great jobs nationwide. If you’re a health professional looking to make your next career move, visit our website and see how our experienced team can help you meet your goals!  

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