Careers in medicine are some of the most prestigious out there. I’m sure there’s nothing quite as satisfying as reading “Dr” as the prefix on all your mail, or seeing a family’s relief at someone’s recovery.

However, the life of a doctor isn’t completely glamorous! If you’re thinking of pursuing this career, take a moment for some self-appraisal.

Here are some of the qualities you’ll need to be a good doctor.

1. COMPOSURE

This is something which a lot of people overlook as an essential quality for a doctor. However, it’s one of the most important traits you can have in the medical field. Working as a doctor is tough to put it lightly. You’re going to be dealing with many of high-pressure situations, and possibly a lot of gore depending on your specialty. Patients and their relatives will also be feeling the strain. It’s not uncommon for doctors to receive verbal abuse or even physical attacks.

At the very worst, you may have to inform someone about their loved one’s passing. If you don’t think you could handle this as your nine to five, then it’s time to reconsider!

2. DISCIPLINE AND INDUSTRIOUSNESS

These are important traits for a doctor. I’m sure you’ve heard before that doctors never run out of work. Well, it’s true! No matter the time of day or point in the year, you can be sure that someone will always need healthcare.

As a doctor, your workload is never really going to thin out, and can be massively unpredictable.

fIf your hospital or practice is understaffed, you may be called in at a moment’s notice. The stresses pile on even more if you open your own practice. Here, you’ll have to operate both as a physician and a business owner. From medical loans to balancing books and even marketing, private doctors have a lot on their plate. If you’re going to pursue a doctorate, make sure you’re industrious enough first.

3. EMPATHY

Okay, this isn’t really essential. I know there are doctors out there who are highly professional, but help their patients the way a mechanic works on a car! While it’s possible to be both competent and callous as a doctor, empathy can help you a lot. Countless studies have shown that patients feel much more comfortable when the doctor shows empathy.

Most of us (I hope) have no issue showing empathy for someone who’s ill. However, would you be able to keep this up day in, day out, all the while dealing with the other stresses of your work? You need to be able to maintain a caring, empathetic attitude, not matter what your job throws at you. This may sound easy right now, but think carefully about how naturally it would come to you.


If you’ve got these three traits, then I’m sure the medical profession will be a great field for you. Being a doctor is often frantic and fast-paced. However, for the right person, the rewards make it all worthwhile.

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