When Patients Are a Pain for Their Doctors
Sometimes it’s the patient who gives the doctor a headache.
Studies have estimated that as many as 15% of patients are considered difficult. Some are aggressive. Others don’t believe anything a doctor says. Still others are demanding, asking for an endless array of tests doctors may deem unnecessary. And then there are the plain mean ones.
A 1988 research paper by Tom O’Dowd coined a term describing such patients and the feeling doctors get when they have one: heartsink.
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