6 Signs You’ll Be a Great Doctor


Students often ask me, “should I become a doctor?” That’s a highly personal question that I
cannot answer for you. But what I can tell you are the traits that
make for great doctors. If you can identify with these 6 signs, chances
are you’ll be a phenomenal physician. Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. For those who are new here, my name is Dr.
Kevin Jubbal. I earned my M.D. from UC San Diego and matched
into plastic surgery. If you’d like to know more about my story,
the realities of being a doctor, and what it was like to do plastic surgery, visit my
vlog channel. Link in the description below. The first trait is a keystone of sorts. Without resilience, you probably won’t get
to the point of being able to call yourself a doctor. That’s because the path to becoming a fully
licensed and board certified physician is arduous. During the four years in undergrad, you’re
competing with other brilliant college pre-meds to earn your seat at medical school, and your
medical school pre-requisite courses and the the MCAT are no joke. Next up, just when you thought you knew how
to study and be efficient, medical school comes in like a wrecking ball. You’ll spend the first two years learning
more knowledge than you thought possible, culminating in the most challenging and high
stakes test of your life – USMLE Step 1. Next, you’ll spend two years in your clinical rotations, or clerkships, followed by Step 2CK and then you’ll do
the application process all over again, this time applying to residency. Once in residency, it’s a marathon
to finish with anywhere from 3-7 additional years, plus time for further sub-specialization in
fellowship. The path to becoming a doctor is long and
challenging, but that’s not why you need to be resilient. Everyone faces unforeseen obstacles along
the way – that’s just life. Facing and overcoming those obstacles while
still completing the most challenging professional professional training in the world requires great resilience
– the ability to bounce back. For me, that was overcoming Crohn’s colitis,
family emergencies, and financial hardship all concurrently during my college career. For others it’s losing a loved one, or becoming
injured in a freak accident, and for others it’s overcoming deeply ingrained bad study
habits that result in subpar grades and MCAT scores. If you need help getting better marks, check
out our website. It’s what we’re here for. While resilience is important, it’s only
half of the equation. When things aren’t working, the answer isn’t
to get up and keep doing the same things over and over expecting a different result – that’s
just insanity. Rather, it’s to get up and adapt. If you’re adaptable, this will be your
superpower in the journey to becoming a doctor. As a pre-med, being adaptable means navigating
the highly competitive and cutthroat landscape in university. It means trying new things and failing, but
more importantly learning from your mistakes and continuously improving. It means figuring out why you’re not getting
straight A’s, then going to Med School Insiders to learn how to study more effectively, and
adapting your study strategies until you’re getting stellar grades. Hit the like button if any of my videos have
helped you improve your grades. As a medical student, being adaptable is taking
everything up a notch. It means looking at why you’re not getting
a good night’s rest and adapting your morning and nightly rituals to improve your sleep,
which increases your effectiveness during the day time. And yes, you should be getting adequate sleep
even when you’re waking up at 3:30 AM every day when you’re on surgery. It means totally overhauling your study habits
once more because what worked in college isn’t is not going to cut it in medical school. It means figuring out how to be useful in
not only the operating room, but also the delivery room, or the psych ward, or the pediatric
ICU. It means adapting to the different personalities
of your different attending physicians who are in different specialties, because what
gets you an Honors in surgery is not necessarily what gets you an Honors in pediatrics. As a resident, being adaptable means becoming
even more self-reliant on your own systems than you were as a medical student. External structure, pressure, and deadlines
are reduced in residency, but now a failure to be at the top of your game translates to lesser care
for your patients. Adaptability as a resident means taking responsibility
and ownership of your patients, and it means adapting to the highly variable demands on
each rotation. And as an attending physician, you will still have
to adapt. Now you will be adapting to the constantly changing practice of medicine. Confidence is necessary to be an effective
physician, but it should not be confused with arrogance. No matter how smart or hard working you are,
you’ll never know all there is to know in medicine. The amount of information is too vast, and
it expands every day with newly published research articles. You will face many days where you don’t
know the answer, or when new research contradicts your prior understandings. For that reason, a willingness to admit gaps
in your knowledge is necessary. At the same time, don’t let the expanse
of medical information scare you into thinking that you’ll never be good enough. Imposter syndrome is surprisingly common,
and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Feigned confidence acts as a thin veil that
can easily be disturbed, but real confidence is earned through diligent work and experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s all about your systems. You start off not getting the results you
want. You assess, adapt, and implement new systems. You get a small win. From there you repeat, again and again, assess,
adapt, and implement. Each win gives you a little more confidence, allowing
you to take on bigger risks. At that point, you’ll have the confidence
to walk into the operating room without second guessing yourself. And trust me, the last thing your patient
or healthcare team wants to see is a surgeon that isn’t confident in themself. But remember, be humble, and never let it
get to your head. Being book smart is important, no doubt about
that, but what separates good from great physicians is bedside manner. Developing emotional intelligence to be a
great listener, an astute observer, and empathetic to one’s patients is key in establishing
trust. And trust is one of the foundational components
of an effective doctor-patient relationship. Often times, listening to your patients carefully
about their symptoms and medical history will be just as important as the physical exam. Clues that point towards the right diagnosis
may be hidden in the patient’s complaint, and you need to sort what’s relevant from
what is not. Patients may also be hesitant to share certain
details, particularly when it comes to insecurities or situations of abuse. Again, establishing trust is key to allow
open communication and an avenue to provide the care that they need. Contrary to what many people think, being
a doctor is not about diagnosing diseases and prescribing medications. Telling a patient what to do, how to eat,
and how often to exercise is not an effective way to help. Great physicians empower their patients to
take ownership of their health and wellbeing. In medical school, we focused on motivational
interviewing as a vital tool in our repertoire. This method of interaction focuses on listening
to a patient’s concerns and using a stepwise approach to find what sort of interventions
are actually realistic. A good plan that someone can stick to is better
than the perfect plan that has zero adherence. Compassion is showing kindness, care, and
a willingness to help another. Some people are born more compassionate than
others, but as with all the traits we’ve listed, this is something that can definitely
be developed. The ever increasing bureaucratic sludge of
healthcare is making medicine less about medicine, and more about billing, charting, and regulations. Compassion, and remembering that being a physician
is a tremendous privilege, will go a long way in keeping you sane. Those lacking emotional intelligence or compassion
are prone to treating patients as diseases rather than as people. The patient is not just a list of medical
problems and medications. Your patients won’t value how many publications
you have, but rather whether or not you actually care about them. And as we already discussed, this is foundational
in trust and mutual respect, which is necessary to be an effective physician. Despite what people have told you, being a
doctor isn’t about being smart. It’s about having the right work ethic. You don’t have to be brilliant to pass the
MCAT, the USMLE, or your board exams. In fact, if you were a neuroscience major,
like I was, or studied another conceptually challenging major like mathematics, physics,
or bioengineering, chances are that your college major was more conceptually challenging than
what you’ll learn in medical school. For more conceptually challenging classes,
you can walk in on test day and figure out many of the difficult problems. In medicine, you’re hosed if you didn’t
adequately memorize the information. Where medical school is tremendously challenging
is less in concepts and critical thinking, and more in the vast amount of information
you must memorize. If you need help on how to memorize more effectively,
I’ve made several videos just for you. Links are in the description below. No matter how smart you are, you’ve got
to put in the time in order to learn and memorize the vast quantities of information. Only once you have a solid foundation of knowledge
can you begin to develop more advanced clinical judgement and be the best physician you can
be. If you enjoyed this video, you’ll love my
weekly newsletter. It gets sent out once a week and is super
short. In it, I share weekly insights, tools, tips,
and resources available only if you sign up via email. I don’t publish it anywhere else. When new projects come up, small in-person
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School Insiders newsletter subscribers. Check it out at medschoolinsiders.com/newsletter. If you ever change your mind, it’s one-click
to unsubscribe, and I promise I’ll never spam you. This list was by no means exhaustive. Let me know in the comments what other qualities
make for great physicians. If you liked the video, let me know with a
thumbs up, and if you weren’t a fan, I don’t mind if you leave a thumbs down. Much love to you all, and I will see you guys
in that next one.

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