We all have patients who frustrate us and we consider “difficult” because they don’t follow the rule book for good patient behavior. You will never change their behavior but the good news is that you can actually change the way you think about difficult patients.
Dr. Joan Naidorf is a board-certified emergency physician and has practiced for nearly thirty years in the busy emergency departments of Inova Alexandria Hospital and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. She recently published a book entitled Changing How we Think About Difficult Patients: a Guide for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals, so this is what we are discussing. We discuss ways to reframe interactions or change perspectives on patients that cause our blood pressure to elevate before we even walk in the room. Maybe it is a certain diagnosis or complaint that does this to us, or a frequent flier that never seems to get better. Dr. Naidorf gives us some techniques for grounding our thoughts and helping us empathize again.
As an author and speaker, she has been sharing important ideas with students, residents and practicing physicians through various online and direct engagements. Dr. Naidorf trained at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. She was recently appointed to the editorial advisory board of The DO magazine.