Unfortunately, every medical practice has some of "those" patients: ones who are rude, disrespectful, noncompliant, or who behave inappropriately. Difficult patient encounters are made of three elements: the situation, the patient, and the physician.
Situational components may include language barriers, the presence of multiple people in the exam room, or having to break bad news to a patient. Difficult patients may be angry, defensive, frightened, grieving, or manipulative. And though it can be hard to admit, physicians play a role in difficult patient encounters too, by behaving defensively or arrogantly, for example. Having a plan for coping with difficult patients is important. Following are 6 steps you can take to improve difficult patient encounters.