The perfect doctor lives in the moment, focusing on the here and now:
This patient, this case, this encounter.
They devote their undivided attention and their energy to being present, putting everything else aside for now.
The perfect doctor is up-to-date.
Since medicine is always changing, the perfect doctor learns every day.
They know everything they need to know, and a little more.
They are curious since there’s so much that we don’t know.
We don’t even know what we don’t know.
Curiosity opens the door to the miracles of the world.
The perfect doctor is often wrong since being wrong allows you to learn.
Those who are always right have nothing to learn.
They are humble. Once you understand that your success is largely due to your DNA, the circumstances of your birth, and your luck, you’ll also understand that others are just as responsible for their failures as you are for your success.
They are kind. They know that anxiety and stress, can be more deadly than many lethal diseases, and they strive to provide hope and solace, even when they can’t cure.
They listen. Sometimes people aren’t there to listen; they’re there to talk and need to feel heard.
The perfect doctor makes time to listen and speak to families.
They support, respect, and nurture nurses.
If doctors are the officers in the war against death, nurses are the soldiers laying it all on the line.
They have to deal with unkind patients, angry families, and arrogant doctors.
They need and deserve gratitude, love, and support.
The perfect doctor teaches, kindly.
They teach patients, families, nurses, interns, students, colleagues.
They respect everybody equally, from the CEO to the janitor.
We are not what we do.
We are who we are, and we all deserve respect.
The perfect doctor forgives.
They forgive the spitting, the patient who lied to them.
Forgiving makes you a better human and a better doctor.
It’s hard to be a good doctor if you dislike your patients.
The perfect doctor has a sense of humor.
They laugh at situations, at life, at themselves.
Laughing is a language everybody understands, even babies and pets.
Laughing brings people together.
They cry. Hurting for your patients will make you a better doctor.
Someone said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
They take care of themselves.
A burned-out doctor is not a good doctor like a burned-out bulb is not a good bulb.
To care well for others, you first need to care for yourself.
You are your most valuable resource. Don’t waste it.
They define themselves by what they love, not by what they hate.
They focus on the good in people, on the great cases, on the lovely encounters.
They bring a smile to people’s faces.
The perfect doctor knows they aren’t perfect.
Nobody is. Perfection doesn’t exist.
Looking for perfection is like chasing the Holy Grail:
It takes you far from what you love, and it never ends.