This is a true story that happened on March 22nd.
Been toooooo busy with work this whole week, leaving the clinic close to midnight (while we officially close at 11pm) 3 out of 5 days. Been meaning to share this on my blog since then.
As I’ve got my last full weekend off ahead, before the upcoming few months of voluntarily working every Sunday, FINALLY spending some time updating my Mad Med Journey – as this one encounter definitely fits the ‘mad’ part!
Inspired to do it today itself following a comment from a friend visiting from my homeland asking why I haven’t written for a while, and requesting I continue writing to share my experiences & stories… 🙂
On Handling a Rude & Ridiculous patient, here goes:
When someone ‘potong trip’ (jumped the queue) due to similar name when she was waiting for 5 mins & the supposed patient was waiting for 40mins & another patient for 20mins before her.
I noticed upon calling her itself that something was wrong as I know I’ve seen her before, whilst the patient whose name I called, I’ve never seen (according to her records). I politely told her she heard wrongly due to similar first name. She refused to wait out for her turn, admitting it was her mistake & said “It is just a quick one for my results”.
I confirmed the quick part with her & said I’ll have to run through as it is unfair for the other 2 patients & she was agreeable and kononnya so grateful.
And then the nightmare began!
Cutting my sentences, demanding why some tests weren’t added (my reply in justifying my colleague’s decision not to order the test made her angry, complain about my colleague & when I refused to let her go on complaining…she raised her voice at me). Backed by previous results that I had on screen in front of me versus her claims of deficiencies….and then complaining she has bone pain, joint pain & demanding to know why. When I asked her to make another appointment as it was almost 10 mins & I needed time to explore her other concerns, while reminding her that she said this was a quick one & I have 2 people before her still waiting.
She even had the cheek to tell me “You can’t expect me to go out and wait now and see you again? I’m already here you should listen to me”.
She raised her voice higher and started blaming me of being rude, not listening to her & rushing her – this has never happened before to her here as a regular all these years.
At this, I sternly pointed out I don’t tolerate rudeness and shouting. Showed her the door & even opened it up for her.
She walked out shouting she wanted to lodge a complain by filling up feedback form. I said “By all means please do.”
And I strode on right behind her to invite my next patient, whose turn she conveniently robbed.
She to my receptionist, still shouting “X…I want feedback form. She’s rude. I’ve never been treated like this all these years.Make sure this complaint goes to higher authority. I want it dealt with.”
I ignored her. Called the patient who was already waiting 45mins who had similar name to that still shouting woman. Everyone, especially one little girl who was my next patient’s daughter, looked scared. They were all glued to their seats, looking from her to me.
Turning to the ~10 patients in waiting room, that woman shouted complaints of how it was her mistake due to similar name, but I was rude and refuse to address her problem.
I calmly turned to my receptionist and said if this behaviour goes on to call security.
That woman gave me the challenging look, “No you can’t. I’m going to make sure this feedback goes through”.
Me to her : “I can”.
Me to receptionist : “I’m taking my next patient in. If she is still abusive, call the police, k”.
My receptionist nodded.
And…I walked away like a boss, with my next patient and her family, with profuse apologies for the delay and drama. They were so understanding saying “That ain’t your fault. Hope you are okay”.
An hour later, another receptionist updated me about 2 issues.
1/ The sweetest thing : As I left the waiting room, apperentlt the 4th patient I saw after that fiasco actually walked up to the woman/counter & said “I don’t care what you or anyone says, she’s one of the best doctors I’ve had”.
That was the same patient who asked me “Are you okay, darl?” when I invited her into my consult room today.
Appreciate the few other concerned patients who were concerned.
2/ The craziest thing : That abusive woman rang later asking to see me again tonight to ask further about her results. Receptionist said “sorry no..you are too angry, come another day”.
And then she asked to see any other doctor.
Receptionist talked her out of it saying we didn’t have appointments available please come tomorrow.
No doubt, that incident was weighing on my mind the whole night. This was a day I didn’t even have time for a cuppa at work – we were full on!
I didn’t even stop and calm myself for a proper breather as we were packed…suppressed my emotions till the end if the day when I typed typed away my notes for her in essay form. Writing IS Therapeutic!
Whoever said being a GP was boring? :p