Related Stories

Three Tips for Dealing with Difficult Patients - 08/22/2018

Difficult patients come in many forms, from those who are noncompliant or have complex health issues, to patients who are angry or manipulative. Whatever the case may be, these three tips can make caring for and working with these patients a little less difficult.

The Ethics of Lying - 06/02/2016

Medical ethics statements on lying are ambiguous. An American Medical Association policy on the patient-physician relationship states, "The relationship between patient and physician is based on trust and gives rise to physicians' ethical obligations to place patients' welfare above their own self-interest and above obligations to other groups, and to advocate for their patients' welfare." The statement doesn't address lies specifically. Logically, trust cannot exist if the patient discovers a lie.

A Cry for Help - 05/13/2016

Malingering presents an ethical dilemma for emergency physicians. A busy emergency department (ED) late at night is not pleasant. Thus, most malingerers go to the ED as a last resort. They must really be struggling if seeking shelter in the hospital or using an ambulance as a taxi are the only recourses. It's difficult to feel compassion because malingerers may delay care of other patients who genuinely need it, and hospitals, government programs, and taxpayers incur unnecessary costs.

Team Effort - 05/13/2016

Physicians are concerned about the impact patient noncompliance could have on how payers purport to grade and ultimately pay physicians based on their patients' health. An informal TMA survey shows private health plan policies vary in how they address patient noncompliance and whether they factor it into emerging pay-for-performance programs. TMA continues to advocate for protections for physicians from quality-of-care measures in Medicare and commercial programs that don't account for variances in patient populations, including chronically ill or noncompliant patients.