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Table 5 Personal attributes that exemplary family physicians believe support effective and rewarding clinical practice in family medicine

From: Medical resilience and morality: a survey study on the opinions and actions of exemplary family physicians

Category Subcategory Example(s)
1) The doctor as a person Self-knowledge
Self-care (33) 25%
Personal reflection
Critical and flexible thinking
Accepting limits
Managing emotions
Encouraging certain attitudes
“Taking time to get to know yourself in depth from the start, and at the same time taking care of yourself for a long journey”;
“Learning about and reflecting on yourself and your role as a family physician”;
“We must learn not to be rigid about anything. No truth is absolute”;
“Knowing how to accept our limits and not blaming ourselves if we do something wrong (we are also people)”;
“Learning to manage our emotions so we do not harm the clinical relationship”;
“It’s about arriving at work, leaving your problems outside the office and making the patient see that you care about them and want to help them. To do this, you must try to be very present in the office”;
“You have to discover your own style and work on it, and be yourself in what you do”;
“Be curious in every encounter.”
2) The Patient as a Person (23) 17.5% Dimensions of the person
Context of the person
The doctor as a person
“Don’t look at patients as objects of study and a source of learning, but as people, and try to understand them so that we can help them”;
“Never forget that you will be working with people and that their ailments and illnesses occur in a personal, family and social context that is very important to understand and take into account”;
“See the person, with their values and circumstances, behind every clinical problem”;
“Treat each patient as we would like to be treated ourselves.”
3) 5) Doctor-Patient relationship (20) 15.2% The relationship
The support
The “medical friendship”
“Realise that the core of our work involves communication and relationships”;
“Be compassionate and try not to judge patients by trying to support them even if we can’t cure them”;
“Always try to empathise with the patients because that will create a ‘friendship’ that will also help us when we have difficult moments at work.”
4) Positivity/Effectiveness (14) 10.7%   “Try to ‘always’ get something positive out of the day, something beneficial and comforting, because there is always something;
“It’s always essential to be efficient in your work, and maintain this.”
5) Service/Help (14) 10.7% Usefulness to others
“We mustn’t lose our goals, our vision, those reasons that led us to study a humanistic career like medicine, to be at the service of people”;
“Don’t lose your vocation to serve.”
6) Ongoing learning and
Updating (13) 9.9%
“Don’t give up on learning new skills and incorporate these to resolve new patient problems”;
“You must never stop studying and updating yourself.”
7) The doctor as a person Activities with existential value (12) 9% Recreational
“Read literature, essays, poetry, cultivate friends, make love, eat well and do sport”;
“Learn not to take work home, to disconnect, fill life with other things: hobbies, family...”;
“Meditate every day.”
8) Collaboration/Teamwork (10) 7.6%   “Always try to find a time to interact with your co-workers”;
“Treat your fellow professionals well, like your brothers”;
“Cultivate a good atmosphere in the team because you will reap the rewards.”
9) Teaching/Research (4) 3%   “Get involved in teaching and research.”