Do we recognise, with significant emotion, these patients in our practice?
• 'Smith speaking—I insist on speaking to you directly and not to the "iron curtain" out front.'
• 'Doctor, I've lost my script again—be a good fellow and ...'
• 'Those pills you prescribed yesterday are doing nothing for me.'
Yes, doctors are human and can harbour hostility towards the difficult patient, including the demanding patient, the seductive patient, the 'compo' patient, the difficult 'ethnic' patient, the hypochondriac, the bad debtor or the manipulative patient.
Some patients appear to have the irrepressible ability to create conflict, so often heralded by an upset receptionist, thus setting the scene for a potentially difficult consultation (Table 4.5).
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