Lost a patient today. No, not that way. She transferred to another doctor.
Transfers happen a lot, both in and out of a practice. Often it's due to an insurance change. Second runner up is patients who see me or another doc in my practice very irregularly, or haven't been seen in years. There's also a group of people who were rude, demanding (usually of controlled substances or unneccessary antibiotics), or otherwise distasteful who are looking for greener pastures. I don't take any of the above transfers personally.
Then there are patients with whom it's difficult to connect. Perhaps I rub them the wrong way. Perhaps they rub me the wrong way and I'm not as skilled as I'd like to be in hiding that fact. Or the patients who experience something negative: a rude nurse, an incorrect diagnosis, a prescription error. If they don't have much history with you they are less forgiving of a small error, understandably. These two groups I do feel bad about. Not to the point of losing sleep, but enough to wish that things had gone differently.
But today was my first that really bothers me. Delightful lady, been seeing me for years. I look forward to her visits. She seems to enjoy me. I'm not aware that I've done anything to upset her, or missed something I should have caught.
So I picked up the phone to call her, to ask why the transfer.
And then I hung it back up.