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    Have you ever felt threatened by a patient?

    Urology Times reached out to three urologists (selected randomly) and asked them each the following question: Have you ever felt threatened by a patient?

    Richard Babayan, MDDr. Babayan“Incidents have been few and far between, but yes, it’s happened. I’ve been in practice almost 40 years, so of course it’s happened. It’s been a while, so it’s hard for me to remember details—there was never anything life-threatening.

    There’s not one inciting factor. I think a lot of it is misunderstanding or miscomprehensions. It was more verbal abuse—people with anger management issues. I did call security on one or two occasions. Usually you can talk a patient down. You sit them down and show them their record. If you show them that you did explain their situation to them, things are likely to resolve.

    Also see: Do you prescribe MET for stone patients?

    There may have been a complication they weren’t happy about. For instance, with transurethral resection of the prostate, I warn everybody they are going to get retrograde ejaculation. Sometimes these guys come in and say ‘Why didn’t you tell me this?!’ I point out in my notes that it was discussed, and I have handouts that I give them that clearly state retrograde ejaculation. I point that out, they say, ‘Oh! I never read that.’ So, it’s mostly miscommunication.

    There are probably one or two instances in the past that I might’ve felt physically in danger, but nothing recently. I work in a safety-net hospital with a lot of underserved patients who aren’t always the most informed, so it’s mostly misunderstanding. My philosophy has always been, if you’re kind and compassionate to patients, they respond likewise.”

    Richard Babayan, MD


    Next: "Things have gotten worse. Patients are definitely more demanding."

    Karen Nash
    Karen Nash is a freelance writer based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


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