Heartsink patients are the doctor's problem, not the patient's. I do not have any heartsink patients as I believe that it is all a matter of attitude. If I am finding a particular patient difficult, I stop and look at why this is so. By exploring my own feelings, I find the source of my problem and can then address it. Often the feelings which heartsink patients generate in me are a reflection of a patient's own feelings: if I am feeling frustrated, this may well be because the patient is feeling this way.
The following list was posted on the internet in 1996: how do you feel about these issues?
- take up as much time as possible in the surgery
- produce legions of nebulous complaints all at once
- undress as slowly as possible
- want treatment for multitudinous children and relatives (without notes)
- demand inappropriate certificates
- do everything they possibly can to avoid leaving the consultation room
- describe every treatment you give to them as 'no good'
- assume that you are clairvoyant in respect of there hospital case records & investigations
- assume that you are clairvoyant in respect of other partners advice and treatment
- repeat the same life stories incessantly
- think they are less well served than others in life
- ask for inappropriate therapies
- have children who run riot in the surgery with no hint of parental control
- throw "the useless" medications across the consulting desk
- casually swear during conversation
- demand treatment triggered by a TV advert
- demand their "rights be fulfilled" before telling you the problem
- are overfamiliar
- are happy to talk incessantly , but not listen
- to a word you have to say
- know you can't help but .................