Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine 2009. 2(0):9-.

A Survey of the Complaints Entering the Medical Council Organization of Tehran in Three Time Periods: The Years Ending on 20 March 1992, 20 March 1997 and 20 March 2002
Ali Jafarian, Alireza Parsapour, Amirhasan Haj-Tarkhani, Fariba Asghari, Seyyed Hassan Emami Razavi, Alireza Yalda

Abstract


One of the most important occupational tensions a physician encounters in his/her practice is the complaints lodged against him/her by the patients. The purpose of this study is examining the complaints against physicians and dentists entering the Medical Council Organization of Tehran in the years ending on 20 March 1992, 20 March 1997 and 20 March 2002 from the viewpoint of number, dispersion and inducing factors.
The present study was performed as a descriptive and retrospective one with the aid of a questionnaire containing concerned data. Filling in the questionnaire or studying the file was accomplished by a trustee expert of the Medical Council Organization and the data obtained were analyzed after classification.
During a 3-year period, 832 complaints were lodged against physicians and dentists. The complaints against physicians in the years ending on 20 March 1997 and 20 March 2002 were 70% more than that in the year ending on 20 March 1992. 83.1% of the physicians and dentists of Tehran that were sued had not been convicted until the date of the performance of the study, on the basis of the contents of the files, and had no malpractice from the vantage point of the Medical Council Organization. The most common causes of complaints from the viewpoint of complainers were therapeutic errors (38%), neglect (30.2%), financial affairs (25.4%) and the physicians' lack of skill (17.7%). On the basis of this study, with the increase of the doctor's practice track record and experience more than 15-20 years, the number of the complaints decreases and most of the complaints are against the middle-aged doctors/dentists with 10-20 years of experience.
Most physicians and dentists of Tehran having been sued have not committed any wrong from the vantage point of the Medical Council Organization experts and a large part of the complaints are a consequence of doctor-patient inconvenient interactions. A behavior based on professional commitment of the physician/dentist vis-à-vis the patient can hinder a major part of complaints.


Keywords


Medical error, Patients’ rights, Malpractice,

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