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.