Managing Clinician-Patient Conflicts (CPC-2)


Although some patients’ behavior may be frustrating, there is almost always a way to productively manage conversations and move them forward in a calm and professional way. Sometimes all it takes is shifting your initial focus from the patient’s actions to the interactions between the two of you. Derived from the three-day PBI Elevating Civility and Communication in Health Care, this brief online course is best suited for clinicians who wish to better understand and treat patients, whether they be suffering from personality disorders, exemplify certain stereotypes, or have chronic pain and/or substance abuse issues.

*This course is not remedial and will not fulfill a regulator-ordered course requirement. Click here for for the remedial communication course.   

Course Format

Self-paced online course combining online readings, interactive assignments, knowledge checks, and quizzes

Professions This Course Is Suitable For

Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, physician assistants, nurses, mental health providers, EMTs, physical therapists, students, and a wide variety of other clinicians.

Course Topics

  • Ineffective and inappropriate communication with patients
  • Internal and external factors that communication breakdowns
  • Personality disorders: understanding them and working with them
  • Challenging behavior stereotypes
  • Patients with chronic pain and/or addiction issues
  • Strategies for effective communication and de-escalation
  • Managing defensive behavior in the clinician or patient
  • Managing non-compliant behavior
  • Managing difficult patients

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how inappropriate communication can adversely impact clinical care
  • Employ heightened awareness of external factors and empathy to improve their professional interactions
  • Acquire facility in using the Formula© as a practical tool to reduce their own potential to engage in unproductive or potentially negative communication interactions
  • Detect the early warning signs indicative of potential communication and professionalism breakdowns with patients


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and Professional Boundaries, Inc. The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine designates these live activities each for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.

Registration Options

Course Credits

2 CME/CE hours

Course Costs

$55.00 Flat

Date: Open Enrollment

Type: Online


How long does it take to complete this course?
I want to provide this course as a preventative risk management program to a group of clinicians in my organization, are group packages available?
  • "I will be more aware of my internal vulnerabilities, especially my potential emotional reactions...This was an excellent short course. "
    - Clinician Patient Conflicts Course Graduate
  • "The course reinforced my need to understand my own feelings and gather them prior to entering the room of a difficult patient. The course was well designed, well presented."
    - Clinician Patient Conflicts Course Graduate
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