The patient is angry

The situation
The Patient is AngryMr. Davis is a man in his early 50s. The physician has seen him only once before, when he presented with abdominal discomfort and bowel changes. This visit is to discuss the results of tests.

Communication issues
The patient enters the room in a very angry state. He is upset because he found the barium enema he's undergone uncomfortable and degrading. So, before the consultation can even begin, the physician must deal with the patient's anger.

What to watch for
It is easy to be totally taken aback by a strong patient reaction like this one, so keeping one's "cool" until the cause of his anger can be determined can be quite a challenge. In this case, the physician relied on trying to communicate that he was truly interested in the patient's concerns (rather than reacting to his emotions), and it worked well.

View Vignette: The Patient Is Angry (4:23)
Pearls & Pitfalls: Expert Comment (2:55)


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