“Dr. Smith, I’m sorry you can’t help me, nobody can…”

You have a choice in private practice when it comes to who you accept, do not accept, and who you refer on.

One of the most challenging but important things to understand in private practice is not everybody who comes to you as a patient really wants to get better.
Now admittedly most of these patients are in the minority. But unfortunately, most problems usually result from the smallest number of patients.
Unfortunately, there are significant numbers of patients who personalize and deeply identify with their illness. Some times, patients exhibit “illness and/or drug seeking behavior”. They seek only to reinforce their own sense of self-righteousness. They carry illnesses as a “badge”.
Unfortunately sometimes this includes justifying their continuing bad habits such as over eating, cigarette smoking and unfortunately prescription drug use.
There is a tendency for us as healers to reach out and want to help everyone who sets foot in our practices.
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given I’m now passing to you.
And that is not everybody is your patient.
I‘ll supplement that and say it’s a choice to fill your practice with ideal patients, or no patients.
Private practice in this day and age especially is very challenging. If you’re going to be emotionally as well as financially satisfied with your practice, it’s important that you the owner control whom you treat, and how you treat them.
But you need to understand you have a choice when it comes to who you accept, do not accept, and who you refer on.
This is of course why are you are in private practice and not the public healthcare system.
So the next time, the patient says, “you probably can’t help me”, they may be right.
The reality is you may be the 10th or 15th provider this patient has sought within the last few months.
There also some other red flags I’m sure you have as well. The bottom line, just as in many human relationships, think twice, and act prudently.
The private practice you save may be your own.
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