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5 Soft Skills every Doctor needs in their job!

January 30, 2018 0 Comments

Soft skills for Doctors are an essential part of procuring and retaining patients. Highly developed presentation skills, networking abilities, and etiquette awareness can help you win new patients and gain a great following over time. 

Honing your abilities to resolve conflicts, and provide excellent patient service can lead to stronger relationships with colleagues, vendors, and other professional contacts.

On the other hand, a lack of soft skills can limit your potential, or even be the downfall of your medical career. By developing strong empathy, teamwork, and communication abilities, you can run patient books more smoothly, deliver results that please everyone, and even positively influence your personal life by improving how you interact with others.

For healthcare professionals, it takes more than Academic Degrees, Fellowships, Certifications and related clinical training to be successful in their Doctor careers.

See below for 5 important soft-skills that are essential for building a bond and a great relationship with patients.


5 Soft Skills every Doctor needs in their job!

Solid Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills we use every day when we communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. Doctors with strong interpersonal skills are often more successful in building long-lasting relationships with Patients.

Interpersonal skills include a wide variety of skills, though many are centered around communication, such as listening, questioning and understanding body language. They also include the skills and attributes associated with emotional intelligence, or being able to understand and manage your own and others’ emotions.

We’ve all been developing our interpersonal skills since childhood, usually subconsciously.

Interpersonal skills often become so natural that we may take them for granted, never thinking about how we communicate with our patients. If you have developed good habits, this is fine.

However, it is of course also possible to develop bad habits, and then fail to understand why our communications or relationships are suffering.

However, with a little time and effort, Doctors can develop both their awareness and these skills. Good interpersonal skills can improve many aspects of your life, both professionally and socially, as they lead to better understanding and better relationships.

Interpersonal skills are also sometimes referred to as social skills, people skills, soft skills, or life skills. Although all these terms can include interpersonal skills, they tend to be broader and may therefore also refer to other types of skills. Many people also use the term communication skills for interpersonal skills, but interpersonal skills covers more, including decision-making and problem-solving, plus working in a group or team and emotional intelligence.


Solid Interpersonal Skills

Time management

Doctors are swamped: heavy patient loads, mountains of administrative demands, endless team and departmental meetings, and the list goes on. The result? Patients are kept waiting. Work becomes less enjoyable. Stress builds and expendable activities, such as exercise, family time, and sleep, are jettisoned.

Part of the problem is that most Doctors aren’t trained to manage their time. While time management is an integral part of many corporate management training programs, medical training is about triaging emergencies.

There are many competing priorities – examining patients, documentation, analyzing test results, conducting research, etc. The ability to focus and prioritize tasks is crucial to success.


Doctors should learn Time management


From the quietly confident doctor whose advice we rely on, to the charismatic confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires.

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many Doctors struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: Doctors who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful in building a patient base. After all, most patients are reluctant to back an examination that’s being pitched by a Doctor who was nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic.

On the other hand, patients might be persuaded by a Doctor who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something.

Confident Doctors inspire confidence in others: their patients, their staff, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.

Nobody wants to think they are being cared for by a novice, so you need to project self-confidence in your abilities no matter how experienced you are. A confident person is optimistic, does what they believe is right, admits their mistakes and learns from them.


How Self-Confidence for doctors is important


Instead of being urged to simply “be more compassionate,” doctors should learn specific empathy skills during their training to improve their care of patients. There is concern about a general lack of psychological and social support for patients from doctors. Some studies have found that medical students experience a decline in empathy for their patients as they get further along in their training.

In addition, the “commercialization of health care leaves people vulnerable” to being treated as though their care is simply an instrument to bring in money to the system. Patients can become dehumanized by the system.

But there is also concern that if doctors become too emotionally involved with their patients, they may experience psychological distress and burnout.

For example, having empathy means imagining what it is like to be a specific person undergoing a specific experience, rather than imagining that they themselves are undergoing that experience.

In healthcare it’s crucial to empathize and/or sympathize with the difficult situations faced by others. Patients self-disclose more to listeners facing towards them. A slight turn-away will signal a lack of interest in the patient and makes him/her shutdown. It also says something about your response to the message.


Empathy for Doctors who want to increase their job

Open to constructive feedback

A Doctor never stops learning because of the constant improvements and breakthroughs of technology and medicine. Certain procedures that were once cutting-edge won’t always be the gold standard. As some General Practitioners train or conduct specialized research, other colleagues need to be open to feedback and new techniques to ensure the best patient care. Take on board what you have been told and use this in a positive way to further enhance your performance and productivity.


Constructive feedback for Doctors

Good soft skills are often viewed as the foundation for good working and social relationships, and also for developing many other areas of skill. Good Doctors tend to have very good soft skills and develop other areas of their medical skills by building on these.

Our top 5 picks are:

  1. Solid Inter-personal skills
  2. Time Management
  3. Self-confidence
  4. Empathy
  5. Open to constructive feedback

Doctors are the most successful if they have the right balance between the soft- and hard-skills. The results will be rewarding for a great career.

At Gorilla Jobs we put significant effort in finding the right medical centre for general practitioners based on their needs and lifestyle.  Get in touch for more details or chat with our support team.