Handling Difficult People

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Today was an interesting day.  I had to make contact with a patient that was dissatisfied with our medical practice and release him from our practice’s care.

Last week I heard this patient airing his dissatisfaction with the way our office handled its policies to one of our assistants.  I have to tell you that I have never heard things like this man was saying in my 19 years of working in the office, and the assistant was handling him very professionally, so I decided to wait until the man left and then inquire as to what the issue was.

The patient really did not have specifics, he just kept saying that our office personnel were nice, but we were not professional and did not know what they were doing.  Yet, no specific issue could be explained.

I decided to contact this patient’s primary physician to find out if he suffered from any form of dementia or other mental illness so we could understand him better.  His primary physician’s office manager told me that the week before this patient was very unreasonable and called her making false accusations to happenings in their office.  She said he was very unreasonable and could not understand why.

Two days later the primary doctor called and said that the patient was new to her and she also noticed his negative and semi-hostile behavior.  Knowing this, I needed to call and release the patient from our care as we will not stand abuse to anyone in our office.

My call was professional and direct to this person.  He was a bit surprised that he was being released from care, but it was almost as though he liked the challenge and wanted to see if I would get angry or become unprofessional with him as he kept trying to engage me.

As our conversation ensued he end up telling me that I handled myself in a way that was acceptable to him and I did a good job at what I needed to do in releasing him from our care.

He did ask me to do one thing for him and that was to tell everyone in our office that he liked them, we were very pleasant, nice and very helpful, we just did not meet his standard of professionalism.

I thanked him for the opportunity to have this encounter with him as I had never had to release a patient this way before.  I think he was shocked that I thanked him.  I told him that we must always be open to learning even when things appear to be a negative.

He replied “Well I have nothing left to say, do you?”  I said “No, thank you and have a good day.”

People are very interesting.  Our responsibility is to learn to handle ourselves properly and professionally and understand that we have no control over how the other person chooses to exhibit their behavior.


One thought on “Handling Difficult People

  1. Well done! That is a tough one, but refusing to join them where they are I also have found is the best course of action and you walk away with your dignity in tact and are happy with your own behaviour. Which is really priceless! Blessings to you!

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