Difficult physician–patient encounters
Version of Record online: 19 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Internal Medicine Journal © 2010 Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Internal Medicine Journal
Volume 40, Issue 10, pages 682–688, October 2010
How to Cite
Breen, K. J. and Greenberg, P. B. (2010), Difficult physician–patient encounters. Internal Medicine Journal, 40: 682–688. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2010.02311.x
Conflict of interest: None.
- Issue online: 19 JUL 2010
- Version of Record online: 19 JUL 2010
- Accepted manuscript online: 19 JUL 2010 12:00AM EST
- Received 15 March 2010; accepted 27 June 2010.
- physician–patient relations;
- difficult patients;
Consultant physicians encounter patients, and families and carers of patients, who leave us feeling helpless, frustrated, irritated and even angry. There are limited opportunities for trainees and physicians to discuss how to recognize, manage, learn from and prevent these difficult physician–patient encounters. This paper addresses factors, including physician factors, that may contribute to making encounters difficult, categorizes the types of difficult encounters and provides generic and specific suggestions (based in part on published literature and in part on our personal experience) about prevention and management of many of them.