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December 6, 1976

Patient Complaints Against Physicians in the Richmond Area During 1973

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Immunology and Connective Tissue Diseases, Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

JAMA. 1976;236(23):2643-2644. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270240039023

THIRTY-FIVE formal complaints were lodged in writing against members of the Richmond Academy of Medicine during 1973. Each such complaint must be reviewed as a potential malpractice suit, and anything that can be done to prevent the soaring cost of malpractice appears to be warranted.1-3 This communication identifies some problems in the practice of medicine and makes some suggestions to eliminate them.

Reviewing Complaints  The Mediations Committee of the Richmond Academy of Medicine is a standing committee to deal with complaints of patients against their physicians. The existence of this committee has not been publicized on a regular basis, and complaints have not been solicited but are dealt with as they arise. The only requirement for a complaint to be investigated is that it must be submitted in writing. There is no requirement that the patient himself must submit the complaint. On receipt of the written complaint, a member