Definition of heartsink patient in English:

heartsink patient


  • (among doctors) a patient who makes frequent visits to a surgery, complaining of persistent but unidentifiable ailments.

    • ‘Imagine inviting your heartsink patients home for dinner.’
    • ‘I recognised my scrawl and wondered if I had written this in desperation for something to do for another heartsink patient.’
    • ‘Because such patients may evoke despair, anger, and frustration in doctors, they may be referred to as ‘heartsink patients,’ ‘difficult patients,’ ‘fat folder patients,’ and ‘chronic complainers.’’
    • ‘My spell of tiredness has led me to investigate and investigate my heartsink patients.’