Exploring What It Means to Be a Doctor

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1620 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 1620|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Holistic View of What It Means to Be a Doctor
  3. Refining My Skills as a Doctor
  4. Conclusion


Standing hours in the theatre watching a partial nephrectomy of a 2-year-old child made me appreciate the resilience and unwavering attention to detail of a successful doctor both of which I am on board to possess. Even then, I briefly understood what it means to be a doctor. Working calmly and in harmony through every second from the first incision to the final stitch, the focus, and adrenaline exerted by the team was almost tangible. And I saw just how integral such teamwork was when I finally met the parents of this child and the smiles on their faces knowing their child would now live without the worry of a defective kidney. I realized just how important my role will be as a doctor to not just my patient but to their family and friends but I also realised just how intricate and vital each piece of our body is, this complex machinery even in a small child required hours of surgery. It made me think just how fragile we are especially now looking at the history of disease in my own family seeing the consequences it has on my mother – it really makes me think why couldn’t more have been done, where are we know in our war against disease and where do I stand in this battle. As doctors, our main objective is to treat the ill and the injured and make sure our patients stay healthy. A role model, a detective, guidance – A Leader, this is my role, being a doctor and this is my position in this battle against disease. Below I will explore in depth what it means to be a doctor, the skills we possess in the light of my placements, the skills I have currently, the skills I am embarking on and how they are transferable but most of all answering that question of why?

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The Holistic View of What It Means to Be a Doctor

During a work placement I organised at Great Ormond Street Hospital I saw first-hand what it means to be a doctor. We are not just the person who provides a diagnosis or cure, but someone who has a holistic view of our patient taking note of their social background, needs, living conditions, the type of work our patients do, these deductions are all part of our diagnosis to make sure they receive the best treatment. I saw consultants change lives by bringing smiles to patients when I was in clinics. One example of this was the case of a parent who was worried about their child’s catheter insertion operation. The consultant understood how worried the mother was and assured her that the operation was a success. From this I learned that a doctor has to be sensitive, and I also learnt how important choice of words and tone is, that is to empower not just the patient but also the people close to them assuring them that they are in the best of hands. But I also understood the responsibility we have. We speak to patients just a few times, yet are accountable for their health, their wellbeing and their life coupling these together it shows just how much of a role model doctors are in society.

Shadowing in theatre during the hours long nephrectomy made my placement invaluable, working under pressure, working together as a team, but most of all seeing my consultant leading the team. The way he guided the registrars and the nurses, not just ordering them but making sure that they understand the importance of every step no matter how small and making them gain an appreciation of what they did all the while making sure I understood just like the rest of the team. I learnt that as doctors we are leaders and team players working together to be efficient so our patients get the best treatment possible, I am confident I possess these requisite skills of guidance, communication, deduction, and cooperation.

Teaching GCSE students as well as being head of operations for my tuition has allowed me to hone my interpersonal skills, I found this was a useful way to reinforce my own knowledge and become more confident in my own ability to teach and therefore be a role model, a guidance, a mentor and above all a peoples person with great communication. This is important because medicine is a collaborative profession; throughout my career, I will have to support and teach peers and juniors and hopefully a work placement student of my own one day.

Another vital opportunity that I had undertaken was an EPQ on the impact of diabetes on the Tower Hamlets Bangladeshi community. I looked at the community’s culture which I have found has a great influence on developing diabetes. This has taught me the importance of research in medicine: finding trends, and links between social aspects of life and disease. I did advanced laboratory research looking at potential genetic causes for type 2 diabetes in the community. I have had to use specialised equipment such as a PCR machine, which enables me to adapt to a variety of tools not just the usual pipette and measuring cylinder.

Refining My Skills as a Doctor

But it is at university where I learned to refine such skills of research and laboratory work from the many coursework assignments to the wide range of equipment. I have had to analyse many case studies and articles and pick out the relevant information and condense. In terms of lab equipment I have used the micropipettes multiple times making it almost second nature; I have used the PCR machine many times compared to before and now understand how it works. Such skills are invaluable to doctors. The ability to extract key information is integral as demonstrated during a Multi-disciplinary meeting I witnessed at Guy’s hospital. The documents I had been given contained a vast amount of information but it was the doctors talking in person for only a few minutes condensing the documents and highlighting the major issues that made the meeting run efficiently and smoothly. The ability to adapt to different equipment is also very important and I really enjoyed my time using surgical stimulatory equipment during placements, it was interesting to use equipment I had no idea how to use but then in a matter of minutes I was able to refine my movements and almost managed to stitch up a dummy using mechanical arms. No doubt this would prove to be vital as a surgeon and having this practice now with all sorts of equipment at university has given me that extra confidence in my own ability.

My journey to becoming a successful doctor still rests on the choices and skills I gain over these next few years shaping the person I will become one day. As mentioned before the unwavering attention to detail and resilience, the ability to work under such pressure, the motivation through the hectic schedule and the years long progression. These are milestones that I will achieve. Over the course of my degree I intend to gain these skills – one way I am doing this now is balancing my schedule, University contact hours, assignments, my tuition work, my freelance work, dealing with issues at home: it’s a matter of prioritisation, balance and sometimes sacrifice, this will allow me some practice for the hectic schedule as a doctor. With pressures at home and caring responsibilities I am in the process of gaining an invaluable life long skill or maybe something else altogether, I’m gaining this drive and inspiration, this is something more than a skill it’s a characteristic- to be someone who is driven or motivated, to be someone who keeps pushing, to be someone who is resilient through the odds, to be a doctor. By gaining this it will help me through the progression from F1 all the way to consultancy and beyond – to become the best in my field and almost a pioneer which I witnessed at Guy’s hospital by one of the consultants who invented his own surgical techniques.

In my spare time I like writing poetry which has enabled me to view the world in a different light and it serves as a creative outlet for me to explore my emotional understanding of others. Poetry therefore has served as a way for me to increase my empathy towards fellow human beings and when I become a doctor this will be one of my most important qualities.

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Becoming a doctor is no doubt a lifelong journey and that’s not my goal. It’s not enough to reach F1 and say that’s it. My duty, my role, my position in this war against disease is not to become one in line of million doctors rather it’s to become ‘the’ one in a million. My life till this point has taught me a lot from experiences I have had, from the people I have met and been mentored by or the people I myself have mentored, from the decisions I have made – how does one repay their debt to all these people and even to themselves? That answer lies in my future as a pioneer. Even in my religion, I am taught to not just fulfill a duty or to gain a position but it’s almost mandatory to become the best in that field. We are taught about caring for others and the responsibility each person has on this earth and if I want to fulfill these teachings then being a doctor is not enough. But being the best possible me is, therefore my career is not being a doctor but being the best doctor or at the very least someone who contributes and leads in this war against disease and injury.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Exploring What It Means to Be a Doctor. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Exploring What It Means to Be a Doctor.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Exploring What It Means to Be a Doctor. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
Exploring What It Means to Be a Doctor [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2023 Dec 10]. Available from:
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