What makes a top clinician?

Top jobs in the medical arena are highly sought after, which is why it is vital to stand out both during the selection process, but also once you secure your position. Holding the appropriate qualifications and having a natural talent for what you do are givens, but to advance to the top of their field there are a number of other key traits that will make you stand out above your peers:

A Professional Attitude

Professionalism cannot be stressed enough, and centers around the ability is treat without judgement. This is an environment where sensitive topics and situations will arise and the appropriate attitude, coupled with confidentiality, is key. As a clinician you will have a theoretical appreciation of professionalism gained during your education, but doctor/patient confidentiality is something that should continue throughout your career and is a fundamental element overriding all medical ethics. Your patients need to feel secure and at ease in your company, and feel able to confide in you about their concerns. Discretion and an awareness on their side that nothing they say will be shared, are absolutely essential. Furthermore, your own feelings should never determine how you treat a patient. Top clinicians will practice their skills with equality, treating all patients the same regardless of their cultural and ethical background and their lifestyle path.


Making a genuine attempt to understand how the person you are treating is feeling is the best way to make a positive imapact in their life, both physically and emotionally. By making a true empathetic connection, you will be better able to relate to their situation and gain an awareness of how to help them on a deeper level. Furthermore, they will feel validated, which in itself can be a key step towards seeing improvements. Compassion and understanding are exceptionally powerful and should be considered an essential skill for all top clinicians.

Attention and Vigilance

Once a decision has been made, it cannot always be reversed. This is why is so important to evaluate all situations thoroughly and never rush an action when another person’s welfare is at stake. Top clinicians do not focus on statistics and numbers, but on real-life results and on what is in the best interests of their patients. If this means spending longer and asking more questions, this is what they will do. Frequently, conclusions can begin to be drawn in the first few minutes of evaluation a patient, but by delving deeper and gaining a better appreciation of the situation they are, clinicians will be in a far greater situation to help them.


The medical industry is continually evolving. Research means that there are always going to be new findings, new discoveries, and new methods of treatment. By not keeping up with these changes, or by being unwilling to consider any medical advancements, your patients could be the ones that suffer. Top clinicians will always keep up-to-date with new theories and practices and will never believe that they have learned all there is to know. Additionally, they will analyze what they hear and learn. It is not enough to simply keep up-to-date and aware of everything, but a degree of questioning is also important. New findings offer great opportunities but they shouldn’t be taken for granted to be the best route. Medical discoveries need trial and testing and the fallout from making mistakes during this time can be huge.