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Why patients object to elective treatments and what to do about it?

Part 2/4 Overcoming Patients' Objections

In part 1 of these series, I wrote about the common objections that patients may raise for not going ahead with our recommended treatment. I discussed, “Time” as being the first objection. In this part, I will discuss another objection, “PAIN”. Believe it or not, many patients are afraid of seeing doctors and dentists and they avoid going to doctors all together. Emotionally, they want to look younger and more beautiful but psychologically, they are afraid of the pain. This is a common reason, those patients postpone getting treatments done.

As discussed in previous Blog, it is our job to find out those objections, by simply asking them; “What is your objection about going ahead with your treatment?” and listening to our patients’ comments.

If pain is an objection, we must do everything possible to find a solution for our patients. Majority of doctors and their teams, say something along these lines. “ There is no pain”, “ You will be absolutely comfortable”, or they may say, “ The pain is very little” or “ Doctor is very gentle”; which most of these statements are not satisfactory to patients who are really worried about the pain. I train my clients to explore ways that can be used in reducing patients’ anxiety and also giving assurances to ease patients. A good conversation, should go like this….

You/Your Staff: “What is your objection about going ahead with your treatment?”

Patient: “Well, I am very afraid and I am concerned about how much pain, I would have?”

You/Your Staff: “ Are you concerned about the pain during the procedure or afterwards?”

Patient: “Well, both. I just cannot stand any pain”

You/Your Staff: “ I truly understand how you feel. There are many patients who share your fear. If, I can speak to the doctor and if they are able to give you a sleeping pill or put you to completely out, is that something you would want to do? If we are able to do that, would you want to book your procedure appointment today?”

Patient: “Yes. I would.”

You/Your Staff: “Great, then let me speak to the doctor and see what is possible. When would you ideally like to come in for the procedure?”

Patient: “As soon a possible.:

There are many ways that this conversation can go, including patient saying No, and we teach our clients and their teams on how to handle these objections through role playing of various scenarios and offering them various scripts that they can use for each situation. The point here is, we as professionals must find ways to find out our patients’ objections before we simply let them leave our clinics and only hope for a call back.

Most patients do not schedule a treatment appointment for their elective procedures and most clinics fail to ask them why? It is our job as doctors to learn as much as possible about our patients’ concerns, so we can serve them better.

Next Blog:

Part 3: Handling Objection about “Money”

Part 4: Handling Objection about “Lack of Knowledge”

Dr. Allen Nazeri is a healthcare consultant with 27 years of experience as a healthcare entrepreneur, management consultant and a healthcare investment banker. He coaches healthcare professionals and their teams on operating successful patient-centric companies. For more information or to book Dr. Allen for a training or a speaking event, please contact him at

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