How do you file a complaint against a doctor?


Quick Answer

A patients may file a complaint with a state medical society or licensing board, notes to the American Medical Association, or AMA. The AMA advises that patients review its Code of Medical Ethics and opinions regarding competent and compassionate care, and consider approaching their doctors directly with their concerns before filing a formal report. Moreover, a patient may consult with another, trusted physician or file a grievance with the offending physician's hospital or group practice.

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Full Answer

In New York, patients may complete a complaint form or submit a written letter by mail, according to the New York Department of Health. The complaint must include the name and contact information for the licensed physician in question and an explanation of the complaint. Patients can also provide the names of witnesses, information on other agencies with whom they have filed complaints and copies of supporting documentation. The state's health department also provides information on appropriate grounds for complaints, including a doctor guaranteeing cures, inappropriately promoting goods and services, abandoning or neglecting a patient, being impaired on the job or failing to make records available to other physicians. In Texas and California, patients may use online complaint forms to report practitioners, according to those states' medical boards.

Individuals can also report complaints against hospitals, health plans and other health professionals to the corresponding industry or professional association, such as the American Hospital Association or America's Health Insurance Plans, explains the AMA.

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