How to Stay Professional Under Pressure from Rude Patients

How to Stay Professional Under Pressure from Rude Patients – Overview

In a world of changing medical practices, doctors are having to deal with more and more rude patients. In the face of that, it is easy for health practitioners to lose their cool because they are after all human.

However, the job calls for professionalism, calmness, and level-headedness. Here are some tips that doctors can use to ensure that happens when dealing with these individuals.


This is the number one thing you need to do if you find yourself dealing with an angry or rude patient. If you don’t get a handle on your breathing right away, things can escalate quickly.

Take a moment to breathe deeply and let go of any anger or frustration you might be feeling toward the patient. Usually, they are in a lot of pain or discomfort and they’re taking it out on anyone who happens to be nearby and that includes you.

Listen and Empathize

One of the most effective ways to deal with rude patients is by being empathetic about their concerns.

Even if they are overreacting or exaggerating symptoms, try your best to understand why they feel that way, even if you don’t agree with them.

This will help them realize you are listening and care about what they say.

Showing empathy doesn’t mean agreeing with their perspective; it means understanding how they view their condition so that you can provide them with the best possible care.

Do Not Lose your Temper

Rude patients are not just annoying; they can be a real disruption in the office. Your first instinct may be to become defensive or angry at their behavior, but this will only worsen the situation.

Instead of reacting emotionally, try to remain calm and rational when talking to them.

These patients will often test your boundaries and push you until you have had enough and react emotionally.

Remember that your reaction reflects your professionalism as a doctor when this happens.

If you give in to their demands or lose your cool, it reflects poorly on your ability to care for patients, no matter how rude they are.

Be Direct When Necessary

Some individuals have trouble communicating with others in general, much less politely communicating their needs to someone they know has authority over them.

If a patient is being especially rude, bring this up directly with them instead of allowing their behavior to bother you without saying anything about it.

Ensure That your Receptionist Answers all Calls in a Polite Manner

If your receptionist or assistant has been in your office for any length of time, they know exactly what types of people you deal with and how much patience it takes to deal with them.

You, therefore, want to let them know that they should always politely handle patients regardless of the behavior they exhibit.

This will also help with your stress level since they can take care of all of the phone calls and customers when you need a break.

Be Prepared for Rude Behavior

Patients who come in ill-tempered and demanding aren’t unusual. Some may even be looking for a reason to get angry.

Before seeing a patient, prepare yourself for what could happen during the appointment by considering how you would handle different situations.

Knowing how you might respond will make you less likely to be caught off-guard if something happens during your appointment.

Develop a Thick Skin

Understand that you can’t please all the people all the time. You will encounter rude people who want to make your life difficult for one reason or another.

The best thing to do is not to let it bother you when faced with these patients. Just keep in mind that they are a small minority of the population.

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging to stay professional when a patient is rude, but it’s important to remain calm. A doctor’s job is to treat patients and help them feel better.

Sometimes, that means putting up with unpleasant behavior, but if you react angrily, you could lose your job or get suspended.

If a patient is rude, it’s best just to ignore the behavior and focus on treating the patient.

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