Time spent brushing up on your bedside manner will never go amiss and will stay with you throughout your career. Consultant anaesthetist Leyla Sanai uses her own experience of being a patient to give some tips
Having been a patient many times, I can say that as a patient your priorities are different to those of the doctor. The conscientious doctor will want to be competent and efficient in his or her history taking and examination, and to have requests for tests sent off as quickly as possible. As a patient my criteria for a good doctor were more to do with how they treated me. When you are feeling grotty and sick or are in pain, or are worried, you appreciate kindness and consideration more than academic brilliance or clinical acumen. Of course, you greatly value these as well, and an empathetic, sweet doctor who was useless at the job would not be much use, but the need for a good bedside manner cannot be overstated.
Treating your patients the way that you would want to be treated yourself is a solid starting point. There