Communication and Civility

PBI Managing Clinician-Patient Conflicts (CPC-2)



$89.00 Flat

Course Credit

2 CME/CE hours


Although some patients' behavior may be frustrating, there is almost always a way to manage difficult patients and productively move the conversation 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 certain kinds of patients, whether they be suffering from personality disorders, exemplify certain stereotypes, or have chronic pain and/or substance abuse issues.

This course culminates in exploring the PBI Ethics/Boundary Formula©. The Formula© helps to illuminate the contributing factors that predispose all clinicians to intense emotions in a situation—positive or negative. By increasing awareness of challenging factors, clinicians can consider ahead of time the ways they might deal with these encounters in a more professional manner.

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Course Chapters:

  1. Introduction: The Dynamic Interface
  2. The Agitated Patient
    • Strategies for effective communication and de-escalation
  3. The Four Stereotypes
    • Dependent clingers, entitled demanders, manipulative help-rejecters, and self-destructive deniers
    • Understanding what’s going on and calming the waters
  4. Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse
    • Physical dependence vs. addiction
    • Best practices in communicating with and caring for chronic pain patients
  5. Personality Disorders
    • Basic guidelines to communicate effectively when you suspect a patient has a personality disorder
    • Recognizing patients with personality disorders
    • Understanding the underlying factors
    • Managing defensive behavior
    • Managing non-compliant behavior
  6. Conclusion: A Holistic Approach
    • Professional boundaries and the Formula©


  1. Self-paced online course combining online readings, interactive assignments, knowledge checks, and quizzes
  2. Certificate distributed upon successful completion of the final exam and course evaluation at the end of the course

Professions this course is suitable for:

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

This course addresses issues such as:

  • 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 Boundary/Ethics 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

Date: Open Enrollment

Type: Online


How long does it take to complete this course?
Our online courses are self-paced, meaning you can begin, pause, and return to them at anytime.
I want to provide this course as a preventative risk management program to a group of clinicians in my organization, are group packages available?
Yes! Please call or email us to discuss group pricing.
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