Is Being A Modest Doctor a Virtue and a Benefit for Their Patients?
What is modesty? Modesty can be defined as reserve or propriety in speech, dress or behavior; lack of pretentiousness, simplicity. If a doctor demonstrated modesty, would that be a virtue? Is that something that patients would want in their doctor?
Would you want the doctor to tell you as a patient “you are mistaken if you think I know everything about your illness and I don’t want to pretend that I do, so I must do a little research first before we talk about treatment”? Is such a response open and frank and comforting to the patient or would the patient feel more comfortable with some comment by the same doctor but which is much less reserved and less intellectually modest such as “I have been trained to decide on illnesses like yours and based on my educated guess, I would begin the following treatment”? Which would be a benefit for the patient?
How about the physician who advertises in the local newspaper or has an ad on television (as some specialists do) and even presenting example patients on TV? Or simply the signage outside the office: should the sign give only the name and specialty of the doctor or should it be more descriptive with noteworthy other degrees, affiliations and rewards written there? Do patients pay attention to this advertising and what is the reaction? Should a doctor advertise to patients his or her positive reputation in the medical community?
What about the appearance of the doctor? Should the clothing and dress be modest or show professional success.. maybe an expensive ring on the finger. For a woman physician, how much and what kind of makeup or hairdo would be appropriate and acceptable by the patient? Would excesses with regard to appearance make a difference to patients?
And finally, should the physician’s own personal issues regarding their own bodily modesty affect how they perform a physical examination or procedure on a patient? And do you think it does? Many questions..any answers? ..Maurice.