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Handling an intimidating patient



Read a case study from the Medical Defence Union files on how a practice coped with an aggressive patient.

A patient with hypothyroidism had been submitting frequent repeat prescription requests for levothyroxine and her GP suspected she was taking more then the prescribed dose in an attempt to lose weight.

The patient refused to attend her practice for a blood test saying she was too busy. When the practice contacted the patient to explain he could not continue to issue repeat prescriptions without examining her and taking a blood test, the patient visited the practice to demand a prescription and swore at a receptionist. When a fellow patient suggested she calm down, she left the surgery, pushing other people out of the way as she went.

The practice wrote a letter to the patient, warning her about her future behaviour. However, she later decided to move to another practice in the town.

This example is fictional but based on other cases from the MDU’s files

Handling an intimidating patient Advice on responding to difficult patients

Read advice from the MDU by clicking here.