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Crazy Patients

Working with Patients Drive Me Crazy

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You don’t like to work with patients that don’t pay bills. You tell your front desk not to schedule patients that are shopping around. Patients with piss-poor attitudes should be dismissed rather than treated, and when someone doubts or corrects your recommended treatment it totally stresses you out. At the end of the day when you’re asked, “How was your day?” the only response you can muster is, “Working with patients drive me CRAZY!”

Let’s face a bit of reality. The more you limit your patient base solely on who you like, who’s easy, and who doesn’t push you to the brink of frustration, the harder it is to fill the schedule. Each patient presents a unique opportunity for you to navigate through the experience differently so that you can connect with them and meet their needs. The more adaptable you are with patient types, the more you will be accepting of their unique needs, the broader the patient base, the fuller the schedule, the less stressed out you will feel.

I present to you with twelve, patient types that illicit an emotional reaction from dental teams. Sometimes the reaction is anger or frustration. Sometimes it’s resentment or guilt. And sometimes the emotional reaction is lethargy, where you feel stuck in having to treat patients that make your life miserable. The Crazy 12 are:

  1. The Doubter
  2. The Entitled
  3. The Scrooge
  4. The Shopper
  5. The Know-It-All
  6. The Dentist-n-Dash
  7. The Criminal
  8. The Guardian
  9. The Blamer
  10. The ‘Why-er’
  11. The Rejecter
  12. The Controller

There is a specific solution to working with each type of patient and every solution revolves around you. You can create an experience where every patient inspires and energizes you. You can enjoy the time you spend with patients, regardless of how they behave in your chair. You can eliminate the difficult patient as a stress trigger and work energetically throughout the day.

Steps to Take Next

First step is to acknowledge that you’re not victim to these types of patients. They aren’t stressing you out and making you crazy, it’s your perception of them that is doing this.

Step two, be open to perceiving them differently. If you want different results change one of the variables. You’re one of the variables.

Step three, if working with patients drives you crazy, pushes your buttons, or sends you over the edge, get some training on Working with Patients that Drive You Crazy by joining me at one of my S.M.a.R.T. seminars.  During the seminar we will develop a personalized plan for you on how to know, assess and reduce your stress, including dealing with difficult patients.

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