Yes, clinical knowledge, procedural expertise, and bedside manner are important. But what one skill differentiates a good doctor from a truly great doctor?
Curiosity. Learning about your patients, including the details of their lives that aren't strictly medical, “converts strangers (the objects of analysis) into people we can empathize with,” wrote Faith Fitzgerald, MD. “Truly curious people go beyond science into art, history, literature, and language as part of the practice of medicine.”
As pressures to be more efficient threaten to suppress natural curiosity, doctors must never stop being inquisitive, especially about the most “difficult” patients and the ones they least understand.
Read the full FPM article: “What Makes a Doctor Truly Great.”
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