A Square Deal to clear the Air: Managing the Difficult Patient Encounters

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Adnan Riaz
Umair Bin Nasir


Introduction: There are number of patients in every clinical setting who are referred to as "difficult patients," encounter with them can often evoke negative emotions in doctors. As compare to experienced clinician young doctors are often struggling while providing care to such patients. But we surprisingly know very little about young doctor’s perception about themselves and difficult patients while encountering with difficult patients, so without proper understanding strategies cannot be formulated to help in improving young doctor’s skill to handle these challenging situations.
Objective: The purpose of this study is to explore the patterns and contributing factors responsible for the difficult patient encounter faced by the young doctors.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among the house officers and Medical officers of medicine department at Islam Medical College Sialkot and Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College Sialkot for a period of 6 months from Feb 2020 to July 2020. Purposive homogeneous sampling technique was opted and five focused group interviews were conducted for the data collection. 
Results: Thirty-four participant took part in this study. The results were presented in the form of themes and categories. Patient’s issues, health care system issues and young doctor’s issues were described as three major factors which plays role in difficult patient encounter.
Conclusion: Difficult patient encounter is not only due to patient or doctors rather it is a multi-factorial phenomenon very strongly influenced by the overall social, cultural and behavior association.

Key Words: Difficult Patient, Encounter, Young doctors, Residents, Factors

Article Details

How to Cite
Riaz, A., & Bin Nasir, U. (2023). A Square Deal to clear the Air: Managing the Difficult Patient Encounters. Health Professions Educator Journal, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.53708/hpej.v6i1.2224