3 Soft Skills Every Doctor Needs

As a medical staffing firm, we make it our business to understand the credentials and skills doctors and other clinicians need to be successful in their healthcare careers. Of course, that takes into account their academic degrees; residencies, fellowships and other clinical training; as well as board certifications. However, to rise to the top in their field, doctors and nurses need to master another set of skills that aren’t so obvious – the human side of medicine.

“Soft skills” as they’re sometimes called include not only bedside manner with patients, but also the ability to work well with colleagues and to recognize the impact one has on others.

In our experience as a medical recruiter, hospitals and medical practices place great value in medical staff who have these skills:

Always use solid interpersonal skills

We cannot emphasize the importance of a physician’s bedside manner enough. The need for empathy and compassion is key to making a patient feel understood and heard. In fact, the New York Times published an article showing studies that patients were less likely to sue physicians if they were better communicators.

Use effective time management skills

Physicians balance many competing priorities – examining patients, finishing documentation, analyzing test results, conducting research, training new providers, among many others. The ability to focus and prioritize tasks is crucial to the success of any effective provider or med student.

Being open to constructive feedback

As technology improves and breakthroughs in medicine are made, a doctor should never stop learning. Certain methods or procedures that were once cutting-edge won’t always be the gold standard. As some physicians train or conduct specialized research, other colleagues need to be open to feedback and new techniques to ensure the best patient care.

It’s never too late to develop these critical skills that can make great doctors and nurses even better.

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