'Heartsink' patients in general practice: a defining paper, its impact, and psychodynamic potential

Moscrop, Andrew
May 2011
British Journal of General Practice;May2011, Vol. 61 Issue 586, p346
Academic Journal
This essay discusses the impact and psychodynamic potential of the 1998 research paper, titled "Five Years of Heartsink Patients in General Practice," by Tom O'Dowd. O'Dowd defined heartsink as the doctor's emotions triggered by certain patients and he described a study of patients who are considered to be heartsink in his practice. Observation shows the rise in the use of heartsink in literature in medicine, pharmacology and veterinary medicine. The term is also associated to psychodynamic concepts of transference and countertransference.


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