We have all said this under our breath:

“What a difficult patient!”

You know the patient…

  • You can’t seem to find a time that suits them.
  • They cancel all the time.
  • You are always following them up.
  • They never want to have all their treatment completed.
  • They are in pain and want an appointment immediately.
  • They complain because your fees are too high.
  • They are always late.
  • They are always cranky on the phone and in the surgery.
  • They ask so many questions.

And the list goes on and on and on…

What if you are not meeting the needs of your patient?

I do believe the difficult patient is responding to a particular situation where their needs are not being met.

The patient is not “a difficult patient” they are just responding to a difficult situation?

Being difficult is a behaviour that most of us show when we are:

  • Confused
  • We don’t fully understand what is going on.
  • Faced with a problem
  • Unsure
  • Scare and concerned
  • Upset
  • Frustrated

The next time you answer the phone or you are confronted by a patient who appears to be difficult, start to look at why they are being difficult.

What has caused them to have this behaviour?

I know this can be challenging.

The best way to handle a difficult situation with a patient is to find out why and offer a solution.

Start asking questions to find out more.

Then you can work out a solution or at least a next step to a solution.

Asking the right questions leads to:

  • The patient calming down and starting to trust you.
  • The patient opening up to you.
  • A solution.

The real skill in dealing with a “difficult patient”, is to ask calming questions to find what the problem really is, and then offer suitable solutions.

So really there is no such thing as a difficult patient but rather a patient responding to a difficult situation.



COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS: BACK TO LEVEL 2. WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK: The very latest Dental practice updates.

Join Customer Service Expert Dr David Moffet BDS and me on this informative webinar where we discuss THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION and all the THINGS your dental practice must be doing NOW to minimise cancellations and keep your practice well positioned with your patients focused on their dental health during these times of instant updates and misinformation and hysteria.

Webinar: COVID-19: WHAT DO THESE LEVEL 2 RESTRICTIONS ACTUALLY MEAN? ALL THE VERY LATEST SOCIAL and DENTAL PRACTICE UPDATES. All of the most up to date information and all of the URGENT STEPS every Dental Practice needs to be following to SURVIVE AND HELP THEIR PATIENTS during AND AFTER the Coronavirus Pandemic

on Tuesday April 28, 2020 4:00 PM AEST at:




Call Tracking Excellence

With Call Tracking Excellence your team will learn the SAME exact processes Jayne used to:

1. Dramatically improve new patient call-in conversions to booked appointments..

2. Retain existing patient appointments and…

3. Prevent ongoing losses from appointment cancellations.


For those of you, who are ready to get started call me on 1300 378 044 or email jayne@thedpe.com


Dental Phone Excellence is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering System I developed that helped me to build an extraordinary dental practice in the heart of working class Western Sydney.

If you’d like to know more, download my sixteen page FREE special report “How I Quickly and Easily Went From 35% to 77% New Patient Telephone Conversions, and Doubled The Size of my Dental Practice Along the Way” and discover some of the many costly mistakes being made on your phone…..

Go to www.dentalphoneexcellence.com.au



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