Skills all doctors should possess:

1. Recognize when a patient needs to be transferred to the ICU.

2. Deliver bad news compassionately, yet honestly.

3. Identify a pneumothorax on a chest radiograph.

4. Diagnose iron deficiency anemia.

5. Help a patient stop smoking cigarettes.

6. Diagnose thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, which has a mortality rate of 90% if not treated and 10-20% if treated.

7. Distinguish between the various tachyarrhythmias.

8. Explain a disease or procedure to patients in plain, understandable terms.

9. Use the internet to find medical information and references.

10. Know when to speak, and when to listen.

11. Practice what they preach, especially when it comes to a healthy diet.

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12. Take a blood pressure.

13. Find enlarged lymph nodes or splenomegaly on examination.

14. Know when to call in a consultant and when to do the work themselves.

15. Successfully treat hypertension, or find a doctor who can.

16. Refer a patient to the right specialist at the right time, or at least within a reasonable time period.

17. Be unafraid to say “I don’t know.”

18. Understand the precious value of time, both theirs and their patients’.

19. View their medical colleagues as a source of support, information and camaraderie.

20. Treat nurses and other staff in a courteous and professional manner.

21. Learn the gentle art of patience, patience and more patience.

22. Keep up with important advances in health care and research.

23. Never let anger, the killer of careers, interfere with the mission at hand.

24. Be able to always, always, have a plan of action to help a patient.

25. Appreciate the unique gifts each physician carries within, and never let a tough day become an excuse to withhold them from those who need them the most.

These were some of the skills that are absolutely necessary for every doctor. Having these skills will not only help in making doctors more efficient but will also help them in performing daily tasks with ease and purpose.

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