“Don’t do it,” our school had said, over and over again. “Don’t treat friends and family. Refer them out. Otherwise you’re just asking for trouble.”
I understood the basic message. It could be summed up as a Boundary Issue. As in, friends and family members tend not to have any. Or at least, they’re less likely to consider them (boundaries, I mean).
Family members remember when you were in diapers, mumbling in baby talk. Friends remember when you wouldn’t share the sky-blue crayon…or perhaps they remember you drunk-dialing your ex. Either way, the dual relationships can become…awkward.
Continue reading Treating Friends and Family
Welcome to the sixth and final installment of this post series on screening potential new (or possibly already-existing) patients.
In previous posts in this series, I’ve covered various potential “orange/red flags” to watch out for when evaluating new or existing patients in your practice, if for no other reason than to have prior notice that they exist, so that you as a doctor can take whatever precautions you feel might be necessary, ranging from a simple “okay, that’s good to know” to “refer them to a colleague–now”, or anything in between.
Today, I’m going to cover a variety-pack of situations or patient types that I consider to be on the latter end of that response spectrum – the “refer them out–now”. Grab some popcorn and enjoy.
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 6: Miscellaneous Red Flags & Difficult Situations
Here we are, in the fifth installment of a post series about screening patients. All of my previous disclaimers still apply; I’m not trying to be judgmental or exclusionary, nor am I trying to be mean. Doctors and patients alike are human beings, subject to error and imperfection, and I would be lying if I said emotions never came into play.
Today’s topic involves patients involved in competing interests, the type that run the risk of working against themselves–and the care that you (talking to the doctors among us) are trying to provide.
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 5: Competition & Conflicts of Interest
This is Part 4 of a multi-part post series on various types of potential new patients to screen for, the characteristics of these types, and the importance of screening for them, if for no other reason than to have prior notice regarding what you (as a doctor) could be facing when working with them.
This post series is indeed intended for doctors, although I’m putting it out in the open, which means that anyone could read it. Some of the people (doctors or patients alike) who come across this post series could start thinking to themselves, “what a judgmental prick.” But I promise that’s not my intent, nor is it the attitude I take.
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 4: The Seekers
This is Part 3 of a multi-part post series on various types of potential new patients to screen for, the characteristics of these types, and the importance of screening for them, if for no other reason than to have prior notice regarding what you (as a doctor) could be facing when working with them.
In the previous post, I explored three of the personality disorders that are likely to cause the most significant upheaval and stress in one’s practice. Originally, I was going to include these next two situations in that post, but then thought the better of it. Truthfully, these two personality types should get their own post because these are not personality disorders, per se. These people are generally not mentally ill–that is, unless they also have something else going on neurologically/psychologically.
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 3: Those Who Neglect Themselves
This is the second installment in a post series about screening potential new patients and the importance thereof.
As I stated in the first post of this series (but it’s an important enough statement that it bears repeating here), this isn’t meant to be judgmental, elitist, or exclusionary in any way. What follows is strictly my personal opinion, which is an amalgam of my own clinical experience and my interpretation/opinions formed about the experiences of other doctors. Nothing more, nothing less.
So if I’m not trying to pass judgment, cultivate elitism, or exclude anyone from getting care, what’s the point of this post series? What’s the point of screening patients for various issues in the first place? Why bother; why even consider it?
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 2: Personality Disorders
Dear patients of the world, this post series is probably going to sound pretty judgmental.
I assure you, it’s not. Falling into any one (or more) of the categories I’m about to talk about is not going to get you catalogued, reported, thrown out of an office, or barred from receiving care.
It’s just that some of the people out there present certain challenges to various types of doctors that these doctors need to be aware of, because doctors are human, too, and not knowing about these personality/history types of people can lead to serious physician burnout.
Continue reading Screening Patients, Part 1: Readiness & Obstinance