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10/09/2020    Jack Ressler, DPM

Dealing with Patients Who are Rude to Staff (Howard Dananberg, DPM)

Dr. Dananberg brings up an excellent point with
the experience he described. There are some
very important points we can all learn from
this encounter. First, and most important is
for the doctor to understand any underlying
circumstances that could be involved in the
patient’s life that may be causing their
behavior. Understanding this can lead to a
wonder professional patient relationship that
not only could last for years, but also lead to
many referrals. Personally I have had countless
experiences as described by Dr. Dananberg. New
patient protocol in my office involves having
one of my assistants take the patient into a
treatment room after they have been registered.
A brief history is done followed by my
assistant conferring with me before I go in the
room. During our talk, my assistant will
sometimes comment as to the patient’s
condition, mood, or personality "quirks". This
is of utmost importance because it is a signal
to me that extra care or compassion is needed.
I love to make patients laugh and feel
comfortable. My goal is to have a patient leave
the office feeling good both physically and
mentally. Losing spouses or dealing sickness of
their own or other family members are just a
few reasons why patients may present to our
offices with poor conduct or attitudes.

When a new patient is seen in our offices, it
is only natural that there will be some sort of
apprehension or having their guard up. This is
only natural and must be taken into account.
Your first 60 seconds of patient interaction
will really set the tone of a good doctor-
patient relationship. I do minimal advertising
but find when a new patient comes to our
practice from an advertisement, their 'guard'
is more pronounced as opposed to one that has
been referred by another patient. When I get a
patient referral especially from a new, first
time patient, I find it very rewarding and I
know I have done my job correctly.

Jack Ressler, DPM, Delray Beach, FL

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