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Good Doctor Framework

Good Doctor Framework

The Health Governance Unit presents the Good Doctor Framework (GDF) as a conceptual structure for human excellence in healthcare. 

The GDF is based on the characters of a good doctor as seen by peers and patients. Similar characters have been grouped under five headings as shown in the figure below. The five domains are not mutually exclusive as some attributes could fit into several domains. 



GDF could be used in many ways. It can be used as either a framework for assessment, continuing professional development, or as a framework for the development of undergraduate or postgraduate curricula.

GDF can also help individuals in their reflection on their progress and in ensuring a balance between the attributes of the framework. 

The framework is applicable to the various career stages an individual goes through, such as education, training and ultimately practice. 


Relating to the intellectual and hands-on clinical skills of the doctor including capacity to apply acquired knowledge, analyze patient symptoms and signs, synthesize a diagnosis and evaluate treatment outcome. A good doctor should also acquire practical skills related to clinical examination, diagnostic procedures and therapeutic interventions. A good doctor should ensure that his or her skills are updated and maintained.


Work related areas, away from hands-on-treatment, that impact doctor efficiency, including capacity to plan and make decisions based on a vision and situation analysis (information), risk aversion, practice review (audit), and reflection.


Relating to the capacity of the doctor to influence others and being influenced by others, including communication, teamwork, patient and public engagement, collaboration, knowledge and experience sharing, mentoring.


Behavior related to moral issues often unseen by the patient, such as confidentiality, respect, working for the good of patients, protecting the vulnerable, disclosure of research interests and relationships with industry including financial arrangements.


Behavior related to perceived or actual relationship with patients and colleagues, especially characteristics that affect their emotional state such as empathy, sympathy, advocacy, listening, caring, supportive.