I.Q. -- Interesting Quotes

By Editorial Staff
The Sounds of Malpractice

A recent study1 has made an interesting discovery of one of the reasons patients sue their obstetricians. Through interviews, the study compared patient satisfaction with malpractice claims and found a measurable correlation between how well medical physicians communicate with their patients and how often the physicians are sued.

The authors commented:

"These results support our hypothesis that the frequency with which physicians are sued is related in part to patients' satisfaction with interpersonal aspects of medical care.

"The message of this study, however, is that claiming does not appear to be random. Rather, many physicians who are sued frequently have problems communicating and establishing rapport with their patients.

"Addressing patients' concerns may not only decrease the incidence of malpractice litigation but also desirable in and of itself."

While these conclusions appear obvious, they should remind chiropractors to continue their superior efforts in patient relations. Patient education and communication are critical parts of health care. MDs are discovering that if they don't listen to their patients' concerns, they may be forced to listen to the patients' attorney.


1. Hickson GB, Clayton EW, Entman SS, Miller CS, Githens PB, Whetten-Goldstein K, Sloan FA. Obstetricians' prior malpractice experience and patients' satisfaction with care. JAMA, 272: 1583-1587.

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