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13.09.2017 | review | Ausgabe 15-16/2018 Open Access

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 15-16/2018

What is a good doctor?

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 15-16/2018
Verena Steiner-Hofbauer, Beate Schrank, Anita Holzinger


Changes in medical curricula have led to a shift of focus in medical education. The goal was to implement a more practical approach to teaching and thereby create better doctors. However, the question of what makes a good doctor is not easy to answer. This article gives an overview on the literature about this topic. A systematized review and narrative synthesis were conducted including 20 articles about the features of good doctors. Qualitative and quantitative studies as well as questionnaires were included. These studies reported research involving students, doctors, patients, and nurses. The resulting characteristics of good doctors fell into six categories: (1) General interpersonal qualities, (2) Communication and patient involvement, (3) Medical competence, (4) Ethics, (5) Medical management, (6) Teaching, research, and continuous education. The different stakeholders showed different ideas of the concept of a good doctor. Interestingly, patients had a stronger focus on communication skills, whereas doctors put more emphasis on medical skills. Balancing this discrepancy will be a challenge for future medical education.

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