|Common Sense - AAEM Member Magazine|
AAEM/RSA Immediate Past President
Originally Published: Common Sense March/April 2016
Patient satisfaction. It feels like sometimes the concept is overemphasized, yet another addition to the countless expectations and constraints placed on doctors. I have felt this way at times, but recently my thinking has shifted. Instead of trying to meet arbitrary Press Ganey requirements, I have focused on trying to understand patients' wants and needs in order to better connect with them.
I recently had a shift with what seemed an unusually high number of patients with difficult personalities and “supratentorial pathology.”At times it was exceptionally frustrating, and although I started the shift feeling positive, by midway through the morning I could feel my spirits sinking. People had psychosomatic complaints. Some were drug-seeking and negotiating for narcotics. Some were demanding inappropriate care or tests. Some acted entitled and were rude to staff. I took this as a challenge, and tried to reframe my mind to see it as a learning experience in how to deal with difficult patients.