There are plenty of qualities you need that will benefit you as you pursue a career in medicine, but if you currently don’t have those traits, it may prevent you from excelling in university. If you want to have a leg-up on the other doctors or medical professionals that are competing for a spot in school, here are a few personality traits you can learn to help you in your course.
1. A Strong Work Ethic
Becoming a medical professional requires a lot of hard work, beginning at GCSE’s, going into A levels, taking MCAT prep courses (more details on this page) and eventually your final medical examinations. You need to put in the effort required, including working long hours, weekends, evenings, and holidays.
This work ethic also has to continue into your work life because you’ll likely get placed at a hospital or office that won’t give you great hours when you start. You’ll need to make your coursework a priority, regardless of issues in your personal life or how tired you are.
After you get placed by your teachers or other medical staff, you’ll have to learn how to work as part of a team. For example, if you’re a nurse, you’ll have to communicate effectively with other doctors, healthcare assistance, social workers, physiotherapists, and other professionals.
You’ll be working with these staff members every single day, so it’s vital you learn how to collaborate well with other people to achieve the best results for your patient. It’s also necessary for you to help others while on the job to ensure everything runs smoothly.
3. Communication Skills
Good communication skills are essential for all medical professionals because you need to speak clearly and concisely to your patients. If they don’t understand a treatment you’re proposing, it could mean the difference between life and death, so take this skill seriously.
You will also come across patients that have difficulty communicating with you, whether it’s a language barrier, a neuro-degenerative issue, or a lack of cooperation. It’s essential you learn to extract information from any situation or find an alternative way to communicate successfully.
4. Leadership Skills
Even if you often have little control over an operational task, there will be plenty of times where the final say is up to you. Instructing your team effectively with confidence will establish your role in your team while also relaying that you have the chops to take on more responsibility.
Sometimes making a decision will be difficult because team members will disagree. In these cases, you have to stay flexible and evaluate the situation to make a decision quickly. You may need to speak to the board or another doctor or nurse, so it’s detrimental to be shy.
5. Great Organization
You’ll be seeing multiple patients a day. At some point, whether it’s due to exhaustion or a similar diagnosis, your patients may start to blur together. It’s unprofessional to start calling patients by an incorrect name because it makes you look overwhelmed and unorganized.
Having the ability to prioritize tasks will come in handy here because many patients will need your assistance immediately. Plus, you’ll need to hand out and sign paperwork and handle other duties on top of diagnosing, so you mustn’t lose track of everyone’s files.
6. Stress management
Being a medical professional is incredibly stressful. Dealing with death, speaking to difficult patients, under-funding, long hours, and little downtime are just some of the daily activities you’ll need to navigate. You have a lot of pressure, so coping with stress will become essential.
When you find yourself overwhelmed, use a method that works for you to establish some downtime during a busy day. Many medical professionals will go to the washroom, breathe, or listen to some music for 5 minutes to get themselves back in the proper mindset.