Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

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Medical Education Helps in the Character-Building of a Doctor

Medical school is the first official step toward a medical career. It equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job. Still, technical expertise is not the only requirement to becoming a doctor. The character of a doctor matters as well. Patients trust and rely on those they acknowledge as a “good doctor”. But what are the qualities of a good doctor?

Being compassionate is the willingness of a doctor to care about a patient’s suffering. Doctors who take time to listen and talk to patients provide reassurance and comfort to the patient. In fact, patients respond better when a doctor shows empathy for their needs. Compassion can be instilled through medical education. It helps for students to understand and develop empathy through the lens of a patient in a vulnerable situation. Eventually, students will develop sensitivity through effective communication when dealing with patients. Students also learn how to gauge the needs of a patient and communicate diagnosis or treatment options in an easy-to-understand way. Compassion, therefore, helps them to understand how important it is to engage with and comprehend the patients’ receptiveness of diseases and treatments.

Having confidence is the assurance a doctor provides when diagnosing a patient. Nobody wants an insecure doctor. Patients will be more inclined to listen to and respect doctors who project confidence. It builds trust that enforces the connection between patients and doctors. Confidence can be built by fostering critical-thinking skills, alongside decision-making and problem-solving skills. Students at medical school learn what it takes to exercise good clinical judgement that reinforces their self-assurance in trusting their own decisions and solutions. They are also advised to consult other medical professional when needed. This will aid them in their appropriate application of knowledge and boost their confidence when interacting with the patients.

Exuding professional behaviour is a precious attribute. Doctors need to be accountable and responsible to patients and their families, as well as other members of the medical team. Patients expect doctors to be professional and rely on their expertise in healthcare. Professional behaviour takes place even when mistakes are made. Doctors need to know what to do and how to react appropriately when things go wrong. Medical education cultivates professional behaviour in students from the very start of their medical journey. Students learn that doing the right thing is not only for legal reasons but ethical ones as well. The display of expertise, continuous improvement, and altruism are all qualities that a good medical school will help to cultivate among its students to meet demands in the medical industry. These essential qualities will create a good foundation for a solid patient-doctor relationship that is based on trust.

Newcastle University’s outcome-based education focuses on three essential domains: Knowledge and Critical Thought, Clinical and Communication Skills, and Professional Behaviour. Build upon the university’s rich legacy as a top medical school in the UK, its international campus, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), delivers programmes of the same stringent standards. Learn more about NUMed’s programmes on www.newcastle.edu.my.

published on: 6 September 2018