The past President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor has called on newly qualified doctors to exude integrity, a high sense of responsibility and modesty in their career lives.
He admonished them to also strive for continuous professional development in their chosen field and cultivate good relations with their colleagues, patients and the larger society.
Dr Addo-Kufuor made the call when he featured as guest speaker at a dinner event for final year medical students of the University of Cape Coast Medical School at a dinner event held at the Coconut Grove Beach Resort in Elmina at the weekend.
The theme for the event was “Fundamental Factors and Guiding Principles Leading to a Successful Life in Practice”. It was organized by the Christian Fellowship of the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Cape Coast.
Dr Addo-Kufuor who was also former Defense Minister in the erstwhile Kufuor Administration, urged the newly qualified doctors to take advantage of available opportunities at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as residency programmes in the various teaching hospitals to develop themselves.
“The young doctor must therefore be well informed, current, and competent so as to be respected and trusted by his colleagues, and so that his or her services are sought after by patients.
When your services are sought after, then your popularity soars. When a doctor is popular with patients, it means they appreciate the quality of the service they receive from him or her, and also that they appreciate the humane and considerate way in which therapy is offered,” he said
Dr Addo-Kufuor indicated that it was this popularity with patients that also provided the basis of a doctor’s success in his professional practice and, also incidentally, the basis of a doctor’s material well being.
He advised them to be mindful of the fact that patients constituted the doctor’s customers or clients, and that “the customer is always right” and further admonished young doctors to be mindful of the principles which underpin medical ethics in their dealings with patients. These, he said, included patient sovereignty, respect, confidentiality, privacy, and consent.
He emphasized that at the personal level, patients were attracted to the ‘good doctors’, and that being regarded as such should be the aim of all young doctors who want to be successful in the profession.