Medical Complaints in Healthcare

Physicians and medical professionals in healthcare can face discipline and lawsuit if they do not fulfill proper standard of care to a patient.  They can face malpractice but also medical complaints to overseeing boards.  It is hence extremely important for healthcare professionals to be aware of procedures when dealing with potential medical malpractice or even medical board complaints by patients.

Much can be done by simple transparency, procedure, proper channeling and oversight, but sometimes, mistakes can be made, or patients can be in the wrong looking to blame someone.  In this case legal support is needed.  Many legal teams have Legal Nurse Consultants who can also ensure proper procedure and standard of care was fulfilled.  It is hence extremely important if faced even with a medical complaint to find the proper representation to preserve one’s name and reputation within the medical profession and field.

A medical complaint can be a major headache but through professionalism and transparency they can be lessened. A good legal team and legal nurse consultant can help guide medical professionals from further reputation damage.


The article, “How to handle a medical board complaint” by Keith Loria looks closer at how to respond to a medical complaint.  He discusses the grave importance of taking it as serious as a malpractice suite and to follow the proper response protocol.  He highly recommends finding legal representation and aid in dealing with the issue but he also gives ways to prevent such instances from escalating through how patients are treated and procedures done in regards to providing information to the patient.  A well informed patient and a patient who is treated with respect and professionalism is far less to issue a complaint.  He states,

“Most physicians spend their sleepless nights worrying about malpractice lawsuits but not medical board complaints. However, a complaint to a medical board is a considerable challenge posing as much risk to a physician’s career as a malpractice case. Such a complaint often can be very trying and potentially damaging to one’s reputation. Some of the reasons behind medical board complaints involve a doctor’s code of ethics. Medical malpractice, misdiagnosis, failure to treat a patient and mismanaging a patient are common allegations in such complaints.”

“How to handle a medical board complaint”. Keith Loria. November 4, 2022. Medical Economics.

To review the entire article, please click here


Medical complaints against professionals are a relatively common occurrence. In most cases, these complaints are filed against physicians or other medical professionals.  There are a number of reasons why patients may lodge medical complaints against professionals. In some cases, the patient may feel that they have been mistreated or that the quality of care they received was substandard. In other cases, the patient may be dissatisfied with the way their case was handled or with the outcome of their treatment. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that medical complaints are serious matters and should be treated as such.

There are a few common medical complaints against professionals that patients typically make. These include issues with communication, bedside manner, and time management.
Patients often complain that their physicians do not communicate well with them. This can manifest as the physician not taking the time to explain things in layman’s terms, not listening to the patient’s concerns, or interrupting the patient during conversation. Another common complaint is that the physician has a poor bedside manner.

Preventing Complaints

The best way to prevent medical complaints against professionals is to follow a few simple guidelines. First, always maintain communication with your patients. This means keeping them updated on their condition and treatment plan, as well as answering any questions they may have. Second, document everything. Be sure to keep accurate and up-to-date records of all interactions with patients, as well as their medical histories. Finally, be responsive to any concerns or complaints that do arise.

Responding to Complaints

When seeking legal help to protect oneself against a medical complaint, it is important to first identify the source of the problem. Is the problem with the medical care that was received, or is the problem with the way in which the complaint was handled? Once the source of the problem has been identified, it is important to determine whether or not there is a legal basis for the complaint. If there is no legal basis for the complaint, then seeking legal help will not be necessary.

Many physicians will need to turn to a legal team with medical legal experts, such as legal nurse consultants to help defend.  The complaint is a serious issue and must be addressed.  Many times, healthcare professionals only see malpractice as a serious threat but complaints can also tarnish reputations.  It is hence important and critical to find legal help from legal professionals in defending oneself in such a complaint hearing before a medical board.


In conclusion, it is clear that there are many medical complaints against healthcare professionals. These complaints range from simple negligence to more serious issues such as sexual assault. It is important for patients to be aware of their rights and to know how to file a complaint if they feel that they have been wronged by a healthcare professional.

Regardless of the complaint or severity or even legitimacy, healthcare professionals need the guidance of an experience legal team with medical expertise and legal nurse consultants to aid in the hearing defense.  Legal nurse consultants help against medical complaints by providing knowledge and expertise in the healthcare field. They are an invaluable resource for investigating cases and providing testimony.  Their knowledge of both the medical and legal field makes them uniquely qualified to deal with these issues.

Please also review AIHCP’s Legal Nurse Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Legal Nursing.  Nurses are obviously the best candidates for this program.

Additional Resources

“Patient complaints in healthcare systems: a systematic review and coding taxonomy”. Tom W Reader, etc, al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2014 Aug; 23(8): 678–689.  National Library of Medicine.  Access here

“Medical Board Complaints from Hell: 6 Strategies for Surviving a Board Investigation”.  Medical Justice. September 1st, 2022.  Medical Justice. Access here

“Learning from complaints in healthcare: a realist review of academic literature, policy evidence and front-line insights”. Jackie van Dael, etc. al. Volume 29″ Issue 8. 2020. BMJ Journals.  Access here

“The nature of patient complaints: a resource for healthcare improvements”. Anna RÅBERUS, etc. al. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, Volume 31, Issue 7, August 2019, Pages 556–562,. Oxford Academic.  Access here