Every physician has them — patients who require extra time and energy because they are pushy, needy, or entitled. Their frequent and urgent demands can wear you down, causing you to make decisions you wouldn’t otherwise make.
When you see high-maintenance patients on your schedule, the key to having an effective encounter is threefold, writes Sanford J. Brown, MD.
1. Be prepared for them. Based on past behavior, you probably already know how these patients are going to act, so don’t be surprised or caught off guard. Be ready, emotionally and clinically.
2. Don’t let their sense of urgency get in the way of your diligence. You may be tempted to give in to their demands, but take a moment to gather your thoughts and assess the situation.
3. Confidently say no to inappropriate demands. Healthy boundaries and limits may not be what these patients want, but may be what they ultimately need.
Read the full FPM article: “High-Maintenance Patients.”
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