How Physician Can Be a Better Role Model

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Becoming a Role Model in Healthcare

How Physician Can Be Better Role Model?
The term ‘role model’ defines an individual whose behavior, attitude or example is or can be emulated by others. It is often associated with an individual who you can identify with and one whose qualities you would like to possess. At some point in your life, you are likely to be influenced by a role model – whether it is a grandparent, parent, teacher, friend, celebrity figure or healthcare professional. Maybe, without even realizing it, some of these individuals have shaped who you are today.

In the world of medicine, there is much to be said about role models. Being a good role model is just as important as becoming a good physician and mentoring goes beyond those who experience it firsthand. In fact, mentoring occurs in several stages of your medical career – from learning in class to residency to operating in a clinical setting.

As a medical student or young physician, you are trained by this mentoring process. You develop professional qualities, skills, values, and attitudes that form your professional identity. In turn, as you transition from student to physician, you train those that follow in your footsteps.

“Whether they are in the anatomy lab, in the operating room, on the wards or in the clinics, practitioners senior to them, perhaps by only a year or maybe an entire career, are involved in one-to-one teaching. The entire profession is built on the premise; videre unum, noli unum, docent; see one, do one, teach one” wrote James C. Salwitz, oncologist and clinical professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
How Physician Can Be Better Role Model?
How Can a Physician Be a Better Role Model?
How Physician Can Be Better Role Model?
Just as it is important to develop your professional identity, it is also important to develop relationships with colleagues, other healthcare professionals, patients, patients’ families, and the community. After all, how you behave in a clinical setting reflects your professionalism.

It is not just about what you say and do, it is also about how you communicate and treat those around you. Keep in mind that you were taught by mentors and teachers who motivated you to become a physician. Use their words as a guideline that will reflect what sort of example you want to set.

Personal Values Required for Quality Healthcare

Being a role model in healthcare means possessing qualities such as empathy, honesty, and integrity. It means showing your caring nature through small acts of kindness such as remembering a patient’s name or sharing your experiences with junior colleagues. It means demonstrating professional courtesy and ethical behavior.

You may be surprised to learn that the duties and responsibilities of a role model echo the same duties and responsibilities of a doctor – displaying a positive attitude, exuding confidence, acting with integrity, showing compassion, being accepting of others, working well with others, aiming to inspire, being driven, and striving to overcome obstacles.
How Physician Can Be Better Role Model.
It is a well-known notion that patients seek physicians who they can feel comfortable around, have confidence in, and who follow the same health-related advice they give out to others. However, in order to build trust, patients often look at a physician’s reputation.

When it comes to health, a majority of patients do not put a price tag on their well-being, rather they look for a physician who can teach them about their bodies, walk them through their care, direct them to the right specialists, and offer them proper treatment options.

Practice What You Preach

In today’s day and age, it is not longer enough just to have a medical degree. You need to serve as a better role model to those around you and exhibit the healthy lifestyle advice that you advocate.

  • Adopt a positive outlook
  • Be strategic and plan ahead
  • Continuously develop your skills and knowledge
  • Ponder over past role models and use their principles as a guideline
  • Maintain ethical behavior
  • Empathize with your patients
  • Ensure patient safety
  • Recognize that your behavior and actions are constantly being monitored
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest medical news, trends, and events
  • Keep your word

Being a physician means that you are in the public eye and that your attitude and actions reflect greatly on how your colleagues and patients perceive you. At some point in your career, you may become a supervisor, head resident or medical director.

For this reason, you need to recognize that you have influence. You need to continue medical education and training and present an opportunity for others to learn from your knowledge and expertise.
How Physician Can Be Better Role Model.
In today’s society, we need physicians who are bright and passionate about their work, who teach by example and inspire those around them and have a desire to help fellow beings and who strive to provide quality care to all patients. We need doctors who demonstrate hard work ethic and are dedicated to their field, who can make a difference. We need physicians who practice what they preach and are better role models.