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Are these reasonable appointment policies?

Jan 21, 2006
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Meh. In my practice, we sniff out the obvious drug-seekers easily enough, and if one does sneak though occasionally, it's no big deal. I know how to say "no" politely, but still charge for the office visit. Thing is, word travels fast. If they can't score from you, they'll tell all their friends. It doesn't take long until they quit trying.
 
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cbrons

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Meh. In my practice, we sniff out the obvious drug-seekers easily enough, and if one does sneak though occasionally, it's no big deal. I know how to say "no" politely, but still charge for the office visit. Thing is, word travels fast. If they can't score from you, they'll tell all their friends. It doesn't take long until they quit trying.
Do you see any downsides to having written policies?
 

yeasports

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You may have a problem with refusing to see certain patients depending on the practice. Is this your first job? In residency it seemed every 3rd patient was crazy or drug seeking, this is not true in the real world. BD is correct word travels fast if you say no they will stop. I get less than 1 per year and I only do msk stuff. Trick is to be nice, be honest, show compassion but be firm that this is your license and I am not going to practice medicine that way. There are other doctors out there that may but that's not me, no offense. If you want to try my way great, if you don't that's fine too and if you change your mind let me know; have a great day. Smile and go on to the next patient.
 
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brianmartin

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Nov 13, 2006
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It all sounds very reasonable. There will be edge cases where you need to get involved and determine if they're an appropriate patient for you. I have a similar practice style and I think you'll find most family docs stick pretty close to those rules. You will see patients on chronic narcotics, you can't avoid it. But hopefully it will be ones who really need them and are appreciative. Weeding out drug seekers is an ongoing process, and as someone pointed out, if you have clear boundaries, they'll try a few times and then quit. Your first 1-2 years will be a weeding out process. After that you should know your patients well enough that you can tell what's what. Or at least that's the dream :)
 
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