heartsink

/ (ˈhɑːtˌsɪŋk) /

noun

  1. a patient who repeatedly visits his or her doctor's surgery, often with multiple or non-specific symptoms, and whose complaints are impossible to treat
  2. (as modifier)heartsink patients

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Word Origin for heartsink

C20: so-called because the patient's appearance in the surgery makes the doctor's heart sink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012