What Qualities Do You Need to Become a Doctor?

Becoming a doctor is an ambition that many people have from a young age, but the realities of the job mean that it is definitely not a career in which everyone can flourish.

Here are a few of the most important qualities that any prospective physician will need to display or foster within themselves if they want to succeed.

Resourcefulness is vital

Every day as a doctor will be fraught with new challenges to face and overcome, which means being able to think on your feet and adapt on the fly will see you through many conundrums in the years to come.

This applies not only to fully qualified doctors, but also to those hoping to earn a place at medical school in the first place. You can find out more about medical school admissions consulting on this page to learn about the effective approaches you can take to increase your chances of getting into the institution of your choice.

Empathy is essential

A doctor needs to be more than a conduit for medical advice and guidance; they also need to be able to listen to patients effectively, respond to their needs empathetically and appreciate how they are feeling from an emotional standpoint as well as a physical one.

Focus is key

A doctor's office or a hospital ward can be full of distractions, all of which can play on the mind of anyone who is easily diverted by outside influences. Good doctors need to be able to focus on the task at hand, no matter what is going on around them.

This is thankfully a skill that can be developed over time, although it is definitely helpful if you are already acquainted with focusing in high-pressure scenarios. You will also need to be able to manage your time effectively, both as a student and once qualified.

Confidence is necessary

All of the training and education in the world will be rendered redundant if you do not have the confidence necessary to follow through on what you have learned.

This is not just significant in terms of decision-making and diagnosis, but also when it comes to improving relationships with patience. If a person can tell that their doctor has confidence in their own abilities, they will be reassured.

Passion is rewarded

Working in medicine can be a hard and grueling career, and in the early stages there will certainly be a lot expected of young doctors that is not necessarily reflected in their remuneration. Because of this you need to be passionate about the practice of looking after people and studying medical science, as at times this passion could be the only thing that gets you through the day.

Honesty is required

There is no room for squeamishness in the world of healthcare and patients prefer doctors that are honest with them rather than those who prevaricate or offload the responsibility of giving bad news to others.

Ultimately a career as a doctor can be immensely rewarding, and the qualities which you need that you do not yet have can usually be developed over time.

3 min read

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

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Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.


Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.

I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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