Pearls

Tips for telling your patients good-bye

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Tell your patient that many individuals don’t follow up with a new physician, but it is important to do so. Discussing this phenomenon may increase the probability that your patient will follow up because you can talk about his or her concerns about seeing a new physician or ending treatment with you.

Don’t agree to correspond with the patient after you transfer care. Further communication might interfere with the new therapeutic relationship. The patient might communicate clinical concerns to you, not to the new physician.

Don’t initiate a hug at the end of the session. If your patient initiates a hug or a handshake, you may accept it if you are comfortable with physical contact. End the session on a positive note, and express your best wishes for the patient’s continued growth and well-being.

Still having problems?

If the transition of your patient’s care is unusually difficult, do not hesitate to ask a supervisor or colleague for assistance.

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