After having spoken to Dr. Kavesteen one evening, we asked what his secret was for becoming a successful doctor in a practice that has been voted the best on Long Island several years in a row. He enlightened us with a few of his essential traits. Read on below for some time-tested wisdom.
It is of the utmost importance that you behave professionally in all your conduct. Your medical education will probably involve a discussion about what professionalism means and what you need to do in practice, but there are a couple of key concepts which are universal.
Doctor/patient confidentiality is extremely important. It is a fundamental strand of medical ethics. This also involves maintaining a professional distance from your patients. They need to feel safe in your company to disclose information at their discretion, and they need to be sure that anything they say will not leave your office.
Equally important is respect and fairness. A good doctor must be able to treat all patients equally, regardless of their ethnicity, lifestyle choices or conduct. Your job is to treat your patients, not to judge them.
Research has shown that patients who feel that their doctor has made a genuine empathetic connection — an attempt to understand how they feel and how their condition is affecting their everyday life — will actually experience a reduction in pain.
If a patient feels they are being cared for by the right doctor who has taken an interest in their well-being, their body will suppress their awareness of the pain and they will experience a faster recovery. And conversely, the stress of having a bad doctor who doesn’t show an interest can actually prolong the patient’s suffering.
Empathy is a very powerful thing.
Some doctors will try to get as many patients through their door as possible. They will rush appointments and make quick decisions. This is often because they are trying to reach targets or avoid long queues in their waiting room, but it’s not always best for the patients. A good doctor will ask a few more questions than they need to and spend longer with their patients.
You might find that you have a rough idea of what is wrong with your patient within the first minute of their visit, but until you’ve dug deeper and got a real understanding of their situation, you will not be able to treat them to the best of your ability.