How to Deal with a Difficult Patient

Course Description

This webinar will discuss the "difficult patient" issue starting with why patients can be difficult, and focusing on the emotional, psychological, and communication problems associated with this patient group. A historical review will be followed by a categorization of difficult patient coping-manipulation styles, along with recommendations for more effective treatment considerations for each type. A discussion of the concerns a podiatrist encounters when dealing with this patient group will focus on psychological and emotional aspects of communication and the stresses imposed on the profession. We will explore the evolutional psychology of the human mind and how this will affect your ability to treat these patients. Finally, we will consider various techniques to improve your ability to communicate, diagnose, and treat these difficult patients.

PICA is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  1. Review the topic of the "difficult patient" including its causes, maladaptive coping styles, and treatment recommendations for each type.
  2. Explore how the human mind developed through evolutional psychology, and the difficulty with effective communication that is a by-product of those changes.
  3. Discuss modern techniques to improve your communication skills, reduce the stress associated with dealing these complicated patients, and improve your ability to diagnose and treat this high maintenance and high-risk patient population.

Intended Audience
Podiatric Staff

Time to Complete Activity
1.0 hours

No charge

Commercial Interest
No commercial interest provided financial support for this continuing education activity.



John Evans, DPM, FACFAS

Dr. John Evans has been a podiatrist for 30 years and is in private practice in southeast Michigan. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a pharmacy degree and received his DPM from the Temple University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (Foot and Ankle), and by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. He is Chief of Podiatry at Beaumont Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn, MI.

He is co-chair of the APMA Health Policy and Practice Committee and has served as a Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee (CAC) representative for 18 years. He has been active with the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery for 25 years, including eight years on its Board of Directors. He is the 2018 recipient of the APMA Award of Excellence.

Dr. Evans is a nationally recognized speaker on a variety of topics including peripheral arterial disease, the diabetic foot, limb salvage and wound care, physician burnout, the difficult patient, and mindfulness in medicine.

In accordance with the Council on Podiatric Medical Education's Standards and Requirements for Approval of Providers of Continuing Education in Podiatric Medicine, any relevant financial relationships between instructors and planning committee members with a commercial interest must be disclosed to program participants. Dr. Evans does not have anything to disclose.

Program Title:

How to Deal with a Difficult Patient

Date Recorded:


Date Activity terminates:

3/28/2021 (3 years after recorded date)

Sponsored by the Podiatry Insurance Company of America (PICA).

PICA Copyright 3/28/18



Director of Continuing Education
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Phone: (800) 251-5727, ext. 2107
Fax: (615) 324-9116


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