Hypochondriacal, needy, or entitled patients can be far more of a drain on a physician’s time and energy than patients with legitimately complex health problems. Worse, their urgent demands for care or referrals, often without an appointment, and poor treatment of staff can cause their frustrated physicians to abandon sound medical judgment just to be rid of them.
To avoid that fate, be prepared for these kinds of patients. Continue to be diligent in determining why the patient is requesting a specific service, test, or referral and whether that is truly the best course of action. Do not allow these patients to abuse your staff, and defend staff members if they have done nothing wrong. Lastly, be confident in saying “no” to patients’ inappropriate demands. Retaining your composure and professionalism can keep their bad behavior from making you a bad doctor.
Read the full FPM article: “High-Maintenance Patients.”
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