By: Renee Subaran
Medical training demands that doctors master at least the basics of a host of scientific disciplines—anatomy, pharmacology, molecular biology, computer science, epidemiology, nutrition and diet, psychology, and so on. At the same time, they are asked to be insurance specialists, anthropologists, ethicists, marriage counsellors, small business owners, social workers, economists—the range of disciplines we ask our medical students to consider is staggering.

A: attentive (to patient’s needs), analytical (of self), authoritative, accommodating, adviser, approachable, assuring

B: balanced, believer, bold (yet soft), brave

C: caring, concerned, competent, compassionate, confident, creative, communicative, calm, comforter, conscientious, compliant, cooperative, cultivated

D: detective (a good doctor is like a good detective), a good discussion partner, decisive, delicate (don’t play “God”)

E: ethical, empathy, effective, efficient, enduring, energetic, enthusiastic

F: friendly, faithful to his or her patients, flexible

G: a “good person,” gracious

H: a “human being,” honest, humorous, humanistic, humble, hopeful

I: intellectual, investigative, impartial, informative

J: wise in judgment, jovial, just

K: knowledgeable, kind

L: learner, good listener, loyal

M: mature, modest

N: noble, nurturing

O: open minded, open hearted, optimistic, objective, observant

P: professional, passionate, patient, positive, persuasive, philosopher

Q: qualified, questions self (thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions)

R: realistic, respectful (of autonomy), responsible, reliever (of pain and anxiety), reassuring

S: sensitive, selfless, scholarly, skilful, speaker, sympathetic

T: trustworthy, a great thinker (especially lateral thinking), teacher, thorough, thoughtful

U: understanding, unequivocal, up to date (with literature)

V: vigilant, veracious

W: warm, wise, watchful, willingness to listen, learn, and experiment

Y: yearning, yielding

Z: zestful

– Respect people, healthy or ill, regardless of who they are

– Support patients and their loved ones when and where they are needed

– Promote health as well as treat disease

– Embrace the power of information and communication technologies to support people with the best available information, while respecting their individual values and preferences

– Always ask courteous questions, let people talk, and listen to them carefully

– Give unbiased advice, let people participate actively in all decisions related to their health and health care, assess each situation carefully, and help whatever the situation

– Use evidence as a tool, not as a determinant of practice; humbly accept death as an important part of life; and help people make the best possible arrangements when death is close

– Work cooperatively with other members of the healthcare team

– Be proactive advocates for their patients, mentors for other health professionals, and ready to learn from others, regardless of their age, role, or status

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