Challenging consultations

Cite this article as:
Tessa Davis. Challenging consultations, Don't Forget the Bubbles, 2017. Available at:

A recent consultation with a patient did not go well. One initial seed of patient dissatisfaction could not be appeased and it just spiralled as the consultation went downhill. The patient left feeling unhappy, threatening to sue me if they died in the night, and I was left with a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach.

The truth is, it was always going to be a challenging consultation, but I felt I could have handled it better. There is no point being a doctor who can only manage the easy patients and the straightforward problems. So where did I go wrong?