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October 2, 2002

Patient Complaints and Risk of Being Sued

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;288(13):1585-1586. doi:10.1001/jama.288.13.1585

To the Editor: Dr Hickson and colleagues1 present evidence that patient dissatisfaction can lead to lawsuits. However, this study is flawed because it did not consider that some physicians are quick to identify and eliminate from their practices those patients who they think have a low threshold for starting lawsuits. For example, some physicians with few patient complaints may have simply minimized their exposure and subsequently minimized their risk of being sued.