When you get sick or injured, the first person you need to contact is a general practitioner. If you have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, a general practitioner will address these health concerns.
In this article, we will highlight skills required to be the best general practitioner, but before we get into this, let us define what a general practitioner is and what they do.
What is a General Practitioner?
A general practitioner is also referred to as a generalist. This is a medical expert who provides routine preventive health care services. They are different from doctors who specialize in other medical fields. For instance, an obstetrician, pediatrician, cardiologist, or dermatologist. Compared to a doctor, a general practitioner caters to all your mental and physical health requirements.
Their main aim is to aid in avoiding or preventing ailments and keep you away from the hospital at all costs. General practitioners major in diverse fields in the healthcare system.
What a General Practitioner Does
A general practitioner’s work is to examine and treat any common illness or injury. If your ailment or injury needs a medical specialist urgently, the GP (general practitioner) will refer you to other medical services or hospitals. General practitioners offer total health care to patients, including the following; social, psychological, and physical aspects of your health.
They are the first point of contact if you have any mental or physical health issues. These health providers can offer health care services to anyone, including newborns, youngsters, and senior citizens. Some of the primary duties of a general practitioner are reviewing your medical history and assessing physical health.
After doing the medical test and determining the root cause of your health, the general practitioners might order more tests, suggest the best treatment or connect you with a specialized doctor.
They can also offer their services through a video or a phone call. They can save in emergency cases by offering first aid services or essential treatments while waiting for emergency services to arrive at the scene.
A pharmacist, nurse, and psychiatrist create a larger team of general practitioners. They work to make sure they care for your health. They also play a significant role in offering health education and preventive care services. Their duties include the following.
- Carrying out a routine examination
- Follow-up care
- Chronic disease care
What are the Key Skills to Become the Best General Practitioner?
Below is a list of the essential skills for a general practitioner. To be a successful general practitioner, you need to have the following skills.
This is one of the considerable skills that a general practitioner requires. Patient care includes diagnosis, recovery, control of illness, and the maintenance of physical and emotional well-being through health caregivers’ service.
Health care services are offered to a patient by health practitioners or non-professionals under guidance.
In general practitioner’s resumes, patient health care is used here.
- Performing health care emergencies and consulting inpatient care in internal medicine
- Offering high-quality patient care in surgical facilities
- Offering primary patients using patient consultation
- Providing patient care management for the government programs of hypertension, diabetes, and TB.
- Hiring, training, and coordinating dental technical and supporting staff in patient care administration.
Therefore, a general practitioner requires to be able to perform all those activities to be the best.
Provide Emergency Care
An emergency is typically a situation or condition that poses significant risks to your health, wealth, or property. An emergency can be affecting your health, like if you are having a heart attack or a natural disaster like an earthquake.
These emergencies can occur at your home or workplace, and they require immediate intervention to prevent the danger. In the general practitioner’s resume, here is how an emergency is used.
- Offers emergency care services for acute illness and performs routine surgeries, reporting notifiable ailments to government authorities
- Performs diagnostic and therapeutic processes, and this includes emergencies and surgical processes.
- Handling emergency cases on patients and can initiate emergency processes as needed.
- Can coordinate operations and provide emergency care
- Uses emergency care and therapeutic procedures
Perfect Communication Skills
An excellent general practitioner needs to have good communication skills. This is because you spend your time with patients most of the time. A patient will place their trust in you, and they often discuss personal problems that they never speak to anyone. Therefore, it is essential to build a rapport with your patient to feel comfortable enough to do this.
It is also critical to adapt your communication skills to fit any patient. For instance, how you consult with a teenager is different from how you talk to an adult. Good communication skills will come naturally if you are a good communicator.
Be Open-Minded and Non-Judgmental
Being a general practitioner means dealing with a wide range of patients. Some of these patients you have never met in your daily life. You will meet patients from all cultures, religions, and social-economic backgrounds. Therefore, you must remain open-minded, frank, and avoid judging so that you can offer the best health care services and not hurt the patient’s feelings.
Ability to Work Independently
In hospitals, doctors work in teams to offer patient care. However, when it comes to general practice doctors, they work independently, only discussing patients who are hard to deal with. Practices tend to differ because some will have more vital ethos than others, so it is essential to find the ideal job for you.
In turn, this can feel stressful because you will be responsible for any decisions you make. It is also lonely because you spend more time alone. Practices tend to differ because some will have more vital ethos than others, so it is essential to find the ideal job for you.
Should Have an Interest in Continued Learning
A general practitioner is a generalist and must know a little about everything. As you know, medicine is continuously evolving, which means you must work hard to stay informed. You need a lot of dedication. Ensure you attend regular courses, read journals, and constantly review new guidelines.
This will mostly be self-guided learning, and you should take it on your own time. Ensure you have an ongoing desire to learn more about patient care and the ability to adapt your practice accordingly.
A general practitioner works with a patient who probably is in pain, scared, or frustrated. You will as well have to deal with upset family members. Therefore, you must remain patient throughout your general practitioner career and be understanding to avoid being provoked.
Ability to Work Under Pressure
As a general practitioner, you will deal with life-threatening situations daily. You will also be working against time to save lives; therefore, any mistake you make will mean the death or suffering of another person. There is a lot of pressure when working as a GP (general practitioner), and therefore, you will require it to be vital to withstand it.
These are some of the best skills required to be a general practitioner. The perfect way to determine whether or not you are a good general practitioner is by experiencing it yourself. If you think you like being a general practitioner, you can get some work experience in local practice by talking to a general practitioner regarding their experience.