Have you ever refused to see a patient?Created by:
If patients have rights, doctors have rights too. As much as we want to serve humanity, there are patients who are too demanding, emotionally charged, verbally abusive and violent. In my entire medical career, I only recall one circumstance wherein I refused to see a patient. I was a general surgery resident duty at the trauma section of the emergency room. There were about 3 pending patients while I was attending to multiply injured patient. The nurse called my attention because the patient who is third in line is already complaining. The intern that I was working with is still examining the 2nd patient. Before I went to the first patient in the queue, I briefly talked to the third patient to please wait patiently (she has an infected ingrown toe nail for ungiectomy). She already made a face, which I ignored. After a few minutes, she suddenly started shouting, telling me that I am inefficient and falsely accused me of intentionally prolonging her waiting time. I just looked at her and continued to examine my patient. The nurse approached her, trying to reassure her that a doctor will attend to her soon. She suddenly started screaming at me, uttering curses. I approached her and advised her to seek consult from another physician (a psychiatrist perhaps) because I refuse to treat her because of her behavior. Apparently, I am the only surgery resident who can see her at that time because everyone else is busy. Realizing this, she left without any apologies. I wrote an incident report justifying my actions. I was initially reprimanded, but I emphasized my right to refuse to see a patient. Have you ever had a similar experience? If not, what will make you refuse to see a patient?