Managing Difficult Patients

Risk Management Presentation


Managing Difficult Patients


Physicians are often at wits ends dealing with a variety of difficult patient behaviors ranging from; 1) insisting on obtaining an unwarranted prescription, 2) showing dissatisfaction with care, 3) having unrealistic expectations for care, 4) visiting regularly, but ignoring medical advice, 5) persistently complaining despite exhaustive efforts to help, 6) insisting on unnecessary tests and 7) being verbally abusive and disrespectful.

Medical education rarely prepares physicians for these day-to-day frustrations which can lead to exhaustion, frustration, burn out and medical errors. This year’s seminar will empower physicians to recognize the early signs of difficult encounters and will teach optimal management approaches. In addition, physicians will be given the tools to understand why one type of patient has the ability to get under their skin more than another. Armed with this understanding, physicians will find it much easier to deal with their ‘least favorite patient.’



Upon completion of this seminar, physicians will be able to:


  1. Recognize that caring for difficult patients increases risk for burnout and medical errors;
  2. Understand why certain patients trigger uncharacteristic reactions in us;
  3. Understand how a high emotional I.Q. protects physicians from being sued and helps them manage difficult patients; and
  4. Identify difficult patient presentations and learn effective management approaches.


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