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November 10, 1951

PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

JAMA. 1951;147(11):1054. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670280056015

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Abstract

In the past few years, one of the most important public relations accomplishments of the medical profession has been the establishment of grievance committees. Physicians have come to realize that patients must have an outlet for their just complaints, and that the profession must take the lead in ferreting out doctors who refuse to abide by the Code of Ethics.

Grievance committees have done another thing for the profession. In community after community they have provided a listening post for public relations problems. When complaints over a period of time are tabulated, it is possible to determine trends and to seek ways to prevent recurrence of such grievances. Soon after the committees began functioning, it became apparent that the vast majority of patients' grievances against their doctors stemmed from one thing—misunderstanding. Time and time again patients had gone to a medical society grievance committee complaining of overcharging, only to find

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