Claims and complaints against doctors are growing worldwide. In Developed countries a series of inquiries has usher in probably the most sustained investigation and collective appraisal of medical and healthcare institutions. The performance of individual clinicians, laboratory and clinical units, the frequency of medical mistakes, the unacceptability of organ retention practices, and the adequacy of death certification procedures are only a few of many medical activities now subject to intense scrutiny. A debate has thereby been prompted about the sort of doctors society wants and expects, and the need for answers is heightened by expansion in spending on medical education and health services.
One approach to defining a good doctor equates the answer with the skills of an applied scientist: good doctors combine individual clinical expertise and best available external evidence; they are thoughtful, evidence based practitioners who use "intangible personal resources" in the care of their patients. Another approach lies buried in the Socratic dictum "Know thyself," an exhortation discernible in the importance the General Medical Council attaches to vocationalism in medicine and to the personal qualities required of its practitioners, including truthfulness and a reflective turn of mind open to audit and to learning from mistakes.
But the proliferation of formal medical assessment agencies signifies that conscience and reflectivity could they be reliably discerned no longer offer credible guarantees of goodness in doctors.
Think how surprised we would be by a community of 200 (the number of doctors in Somalia) where nobody committed serious crimes, went mad, misused drugs, slacked on the job, became corrupt, lost competence, or exploited their position
Does the notion of goodness have anything to add to what we want from doctors once their competence and performance have been specified and verified? After all, when "good" (as an adjective) qualifies "doctor," a great deal of its meaning is determined by what is meant by "doctor.” This, in turn, is set out in education and training curricula and in the knowledge, competences, and values to be demonstrated in the process of gaining a primary medical qualification. When it comes to doctoring, the term "good" increasingly functions as a descriptive label that denotes having met certain tests of competency.
But in our country the varieties of good, poor, and bad doctors are diverse and may sometimes coexist in the same individual. This does not make becoming a good doctor an unattainable ideal, but we hope that ,the Somali fresh doctors could create an immediate change setting up of evidence based validated medical ethics.
Edited by, the Executive Director of Somali Young Doctors Association (SOYDA)
Abdiqani Sheikh Omar
Drabdiqani6@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org