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Difficult Consultations course for GPs

Speciality Classification
General Practice ( GP ) / Family Medicine
Time / Duration
30 minutes
Subject matter expert
e-Learning for Healthcare
Endorsed By
Royal College of General Practitioners

This interactive session explores some of the difficulties associated with patients whose behaviour doctors find challenging and who may provoke strong feelings in doctors. This session was reviewed by Khyati Bakhai and last updated in July 2021.

Learning objectives

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • identify some models commonly used to describe challenging patients
  • state how relevant these models are today
  • reflect on your personal areas of difficulty
  • discuss skills in managing awkward encounters
  • describe the relationship between communication and attitude

The patient is arguably at the heart of your medical practice. Undoubtedly, though, we feel more ‘at sea’ with some patients than with others. This session invites you to reflect on what, and who, is ‘difficult’ for you. This does vary between individual doctors, so please focus here on your own thoughts and reactions.

Entry Requirements / Prerequisites

Before commencing this session you should:

  • reflect on your own adverse reactions to certain patient types, and consider where the challenges are
Instructors / Speakers
Connie Wiskin BA (hons) Mphil ILT PhD,
Director. Interactive Studies Unit. Birmingham University

Connie is based at The Birmingham Medical school, and has been involved in the devising and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate clinical communication programmes since 1991. She has extensive experience of interactive methodologies, and has worked with most postgraduate health and clinical specialities. She founded the current role play team at Birmingham, based on the outcomes of her Masters’ research. She holds a PhD on the reliability of role-play scoring in high stakes medical assessments, and is an accredited member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching. She has published on many subjects, including assessment and gender, and has presented in excess of 40 original short papers at national and international symposia.

Connie has a special interest in training videos, and co-authored, designed and produced numerous commercially available training packages. A novel DVD she produced on language use with dying patients has just been released, and she is currently compiling a book on communicating in intimate consultations.

Having trained in humanities in the 1980’s she retains her interest in performance and creative approaches to teaching, and promotes related methodologies wherever possible. Connie represents Birmingham at the UK Council for Clinical Communication, has a special interest in student selected components of the curriculum (SSCs), and is Academic Lead for the Year 4 Elective.

Difficult Consultations course for GPs
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Provider Type
Education Provider
Time / Duration
30 minutes
Access Duration (in months)
Programs this course belongs to
Modules this course belongs to
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