Perceptions of Practicing Physicians and Members of the Public on the Attributes of a “Good Doctor”

Keren Dopelt, Yaacov G. Bachner, Jacob Urkin, Zehava Yahav, Nadav Davidovitch, Paul Barach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Since physician–patient relationships are a central part of the medical practice, it is essential to understand whether physicians and the general public share the same perspective on traits defining a “good doctor”. Our study compared the perceptions of physicians and members of the public on the essential traits of a “good doctor.” We conducted parallel surveys of 1000 practicing specialist-physicians, and 500 members of the public in Israel. Respondents were asked about the two most important attributes of a “good doctor” and whether they thought the physicians’ role was to reduce health disparities. Many physicians (56%) and members of the public (48%) reported that the role of physicians includes helping to reduce health disparities. Physicians emphasized the importance of non-technical skills such as humaneness and concern for patients as important traits of a “good doctor,” while the public emphasized professional and technical skills. Internal medicine physicians were more likely than surgeons to emphasize humaneness, empathy, and professionalism. Future research should focus on actionable approaches to bridge the gap in the perceptions between the groups, and that may support the formation of caring physicians embedded in a complex array of relationships within clinical and community contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Interpersonal skills
  • Medical education
  • Patient-centered care
  • Technical skills
  • Traits of a “good doctor”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of Practicing Physicians and Members of the Public on the Attributes of a “Good Doctor”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this