Notes on Good Doctor Etiquette in the Health Care Team


Etiquette of teaching & learning in the health care team

The hospital health care team is complex and multi-disciplinary with complementary and inter-dependent roles. Members have dual functions of teaching and delivering health care. Most teaching is passive learning of attitudes, skills, and facts by observation. Teachers must be humble. They must make the learning process easy and interesting. Their actions, attitudes, and words can be emulated. They should have appropriate emotional expression, encourage student questions, repeat to ensure understanding, and not hide knowledge. The student should respect the teacher for the knowledge they have. They should listen quietly and respectfully, teach one another, ask questions to clarify, and take notes for understanding and retention. They should stay around in the hospital and with their teachers all the time to maximize learning.


Etiquette of care delivery in the health care team

Each member of the team carries personal responsibility with leaders carrying more responsibility. Leaders must be obeyed except in illegal acts, corruption, or oppression. Rufaidah, the first Muslim nurse, was a good model of etiquette. She was kind, empathetic, a capable leader and organizer, clinically competent, and a trainer of others. Besides clinical activities, she was a public health nurse and a social worker assisting all in need. The human touch is unfortunately being forgotten in modern medicine as the balance is increasingly tilted in favor of technology.


The health care team: general group dynamics

Basic duties of brotherhood and best of manners must be observed. Encouraged are positive behaviors (mutual love, empathy, caring for one another; leniency, generosity, patience, modesty, a cheerful disposition, calling others by their favorite names, recognizing the rights of the older members, and self control in anger. Discouraged are negative attributes (harshness in speech, rumor mongering, excessive praise, mutual jealousy, turning away from other for more than 3 days, and spying on the privacy of others).


The health care team: special group dynamics

Gender-specific identity should be maintained in dress, walking, and speaking. Free mixing of the genders is forbidden but professional contact within the limits of necessity is allowed. Patients of the opposite gender are examined in the presence of a chaperone. The gaze should be lowered. Modest covering must be observed. Display of adornments that enhance natural beauty must be minimized.



ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. June, 2008