Table 1

Description and Number of Complaints (N = 250)

Type and Example of ComplaintComplaintsComplaints With Physician at FaultComplaints With Serious Health OutcomesComplaints With Serious Health Outcomes and Physician at Fault
Wrong diagnosis: allowing cycling, when a hip fracture was diagnosed later; diagnosing influenza in a patient with meningitis60273318
Insufficient medical care: family physician diagnoses myocardial infarction but does not stay with patient until ambulance arrives, and patient dies of cardiac arrest before ambulance arrives. No referral to a urologist in a male patient with recurring urinary infections54201711
Wrong treatment: giving amoxicillin to a patient with known allergy; wrong type of lithium23662
Referral too late: missing of a malignancy (metastatic) in a patient with lower back pain; missing of a breast carcinoma18443
Incorrect statement or declaration: family physician gives an incorrect statement to the police about violence within a family; family physician gives incorrect information about the husband in a child abuse case15800
Violation of privacy: family physician notes down medical information about patient in letter to her ex-husband; family physician gives the medical record to a family member without permission14900
Not showing up, or too late at a house visit: family physician refuses a house visit for a patient with (as later shown) a stroke; family physician refuses a house visit because patient lives too far away14261
Insufficient information: eg, family physician did not give information about side effects of corticosteroid; family physician refuses to talk to a patient6311
Impolite behavior: family physician refuses to lift fallen patient, fire department had to come; family physician shouts at a patient5200
Inappropriate contact with patient: sexual relationship with a patient2200
Wrong billing: patient found billing too high1000
Impossible to identify the type of complaints19000