Dr. David Crawford has been a doctor for a great many years and he has also been our family doctor for the large majority of that time. Given that I work with kids around career advice I wanted to pick his brains to see what skills a person would need in order to be a doctor. We all know that doctors have to be very intelligent to study medicine and become a doctor, but what are the particular attributes and personality traits which they must also have? Let’s take a look.

Passion For Learning

It is a given that a doctor will have passion for what they do as nobody would put themselves through the years of education and hard work if they were not passionate about it. The real passion which doctors must have however is a passion for learning, because the truth is that it never stops. Once doctors are licensed they must constantly be learning about their branch of medicine and all of the advancements in treatment and diagnosis which come to light.

Communication Skills

Doctors must be able to communicate clearly and with precision in many aspects of their job. First of all they need to know how to talk to patients, how to inform them of what is going on and how to communicate with the families of the patients. Doctors also need to have perfect communication with other staff such as nurses and fellow doctors. They must be able to listen to everything that is pertinent and they must be succinct and accurate in what they say. This is not a career where confusion helps anyone, and it could have dire consequences.

Cool Under Pressure

Doctors must have faith in their own knowledge when it comes to pressure situations and they must be able to handle pressure with ease. During times of emergency doctors must be the coolest heads in the room as every single moment counts. If a doctor is not able to stay calm under pressure then this is a very worrying sign, and one which will hamper their career.

Decision Making

Sometimes doctors have to make strong decisions when it comes to diagnosing or treating a patient. There are always risks involved when it comes to medicine and there is always the chance that they may get it wrong. Nonetheless a doctor should be able to weigh up all of the information that they have and use it to make the best decision which they can. Sitting on the fence in such situations is just not an option and there is a decision which has to be made, and has to be made quickly. The key here is knowing how to calculate risk and trusting in the knowledge that they have to make the smart decision.

These are the four main attributes which a doctor must have in order to succeed in this career.