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The Doctor's Manifesto

excerpted from the book of Erika Schwartz, MD, "Don't let your doctor kill you"

I will take my Hippocratic oath of "first, do no harm" seriously.

I will never take myself too seriously!

I will eliminate arrogance from my personality.

I will take my own ego out of the examination room and out of my interactions with patients and other medical professionals.

I will respect and care for each one of my patients to the best of my abilities as a human being.

I will listen to my patients.

I will honestly and caringly, without judgement or preconceived notions, do my best to understand each of my patients- not just the results of their tests- and put everything into context with the details of their lives.

I will respect my patients and view them as the complex human beings they are, not collections of organs, conditions or diseases.

I will communicate with each patient with full transparency, sharing complete information to the best of my ability. I will speak to my patients in a language they can understand and not hide behind medical jargon.

I will never make a patient feel stupid or inferior in any way. I will answer as many questions as the patient requires to feel comfortable and well informed.

I will never make my patient feel bad or guilty for seeking a second opinion.

I will open my mind to another professional's perspective and learn to consider other opinions as resources that can help me become a better doctor.

I will respect other doctors and openly and kindly communicate and collaborate with them in order to improve the care we give to our patients.

I won't use derogatory terms to refer to other doctor's recommendations.

I won't assume I have the "only" right answer when it comes to treating a patient.

I will always put my patient's best interests ahead of any other considerations.

I will respect and understand that my patient's life, body, and health belong to him/her, and that s/he is the ultimate authority on the choices s/he makes for him/herself.

I will never bully or scare patients into following my advice.

I will strive to make my office a place of solace and kindness for the patient.

I will do my part in eliminating fear from health care.

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