Searching for the good doctor

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 28 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:719
  1. Richard E Ashcroft, senior lecturer in medical ethics. (
  1. Imperial College

    Looking on the internet for guidance on what makes a good doctor yields some unexpected results. Readers who can remember the 1970s will be pleased to find a site dedicated to legendary pub rock band Dr Feelgood ( Perhaps the band's prescription of “Milk and Alcohol” would be of value for some purposes, but pending the long overdue report from NICE into its clinical effectiveness this cannot be admitted definitively into the pharmacopoeia.

    The feelgood approach to defining what makes a doctor good presses “patient centredness” too far. There is more to clinical virtue than doing what most satisfies patients' desires and doing so efficiently. Yet …

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