Research shows that an individual’s personal characteristics could have a profound effect on his/her professional development. As an individual striving to become “an effective professional” it is important to first develop into an “effective person”. Although this may not appear to be directly relevant to the medical profession at the outset, it has to be recognized that personal skills and attributes have a profound effect on your professional life as a doctor.
A key contributory factor of health problems is the unhealthy practices of people. Such practices are sometimes well established within individuals or are rooted in social and cultural beliefs and practices that they become extremely resistant to change. So as future doctors, apart from the core medical knowledge that is essential for you to learn, you will also need to develop and refine within yourself the skills of being able to deal with such behaviours which require change in order to promote physical, mental and spiritual well being.
In order to become effective and efficient doctors, it is important that you first gain some understanding of the nature of human beings. This module will introduce to you some of the key concepts of the behavioural sciences. We hope that it will make you more aware of yourself as a person and also help you to better understand others. This will enable you to relate effectively with persons you interact with,including patients and colleagues. It is believed that it will also enhance your effectiveness as a health professional.
Health care decisions are based not only on clinical and technical grounds. Although we carefully weigh the clinical and technical aspects, ethical issues involved may be overlooked. A legal framework or code of conduct governing doctor’s decision and behaviour may help overcome this problem but they often provide rigid guidelines for a limited number of situations.
Having the appropriate communication skills is extremely important for doctors as they have to frequently communicate with different groups of people. Whether it is to gather information from a patient and his family about an illness and provide medical advice, or to discuss problems in the day-to-day functioning of a ward with other members of the health care team, or to address the public about preventing the spread of an epidemic, doctors have to communicate with others.
Good health care requires dedicated and informed people functioning together with a common purpose, which is responsive to changing health needs. Future generations of health professionals must recognize and face challenges with competence and confidence, which requires effective management skills. Knowledge of the health care delivery system and its functioning is also required.