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Whom To Complain To About Poor Medical Treatment

August 12, 2020

Everyone wants the best possible medical treatment when they fall ill. Whether you’re just going in for an annual physical or are being treated for a serious medical condition, you expect professionalism, compassion, and competence from your healthcare provider. Sadly, not all doctors and nurses live up to our expectations. Oftentimes one can receive poor medical treatment, whether it is a poor bedside manner or medical incompetence. Situations such as these may seem futile because knowing whom to complain to is not always clear. But if you have received poor medical treatment, you do have various avenues for recourse. Here are some of the ways, and the right people, you can complain about your poor medical treatment.

Direct Supervisors

If you get your medical care in a hospital or clinic, it is likely that the doctors and nurses that are treating you have supervisors and higher-ups. Such facilities operate within a hierarchical staff structure and nurses and doctors answer to someone. If your doctor was inappropriate, didn’t exhibit good enough bedside manners, or was simply unknowledgeable, you can ask to speak with the head of their department to complain or ask to rectify the issue. Direct supervisors will be familiar with the doctor in question and will likely know if this is a common occurrence for them. This is the easiest and quickest person you can reach should you have a complaint about the medical treatment you received. If their direct supervisor fails to remedy the situation, climb the facility’s organizational structure; you can reach the dean of medicine if necessary. 

State Medical Licensure 

Every state has its own medical licensing board. These boards verify healthcare professionals’ education and allow them to practice medicine in their state. It is state-specific. If treated in California you would need to look up California’s medical board. It is recommended that you always verify a doctor’s credentials before seeking their treatment. In the event a doctor’s medical treatment is subpar or worthy of having their medical license revoked, you can file a complaint with their state’s medical licensing board. Some medical boards can also share information about some doctors’ past issues and complaints. 

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Depending on the gravity of the situation, you may want to pursue legal action against the doctor that treated you. In such scenarios, you will need to seek a personal injury attorney that focuses on medical malpractice cases. Having a knowledgeable lawyer can help make the process a relatively smooth one. Seeking financial compensation for poor medical treatment can be tricky and you need to find a lawyer that understands the healthcare providers’ practices and those of your insurance provider as well. This is also a state-specific issue, so if you have an issue in the SoCal area, for instance, it only makes sense that you seek a lawyer that operates locally in that state. The seasoned medical malpractice lawyers at Kaiser malpractice attorney San Diego advise that you familiarize yourself with the state’s specific laws so that you have the upper hand moving forward. This is a big step to take and you should only complain about this procedure if the poor treatment was particularly egregious. 

Public Forums

In this day and age, everything is reviewed online. We all want to know what we are getting ourselves into before taking any steps. While this is obvious with product reviews, it is just the case with doctors as well. Doctors are reviewed by their patients on many various platforms. Some find the practice of reviewing doctors or other healthcare providers concerning, but, regardless, it is possible to address the issues you faced in a public forum for other patients, or would-be patients, to see. While this may not be the most ideal way to complain about poor medical treatment, it is the easiest method and is likely going to be your last resort after the above-mentioned methods. Reviews and public forum discussions are great if you want to address your entire experience for everyone to see.

It seems we hear about new health risks and causes of diseases and illnesses daily. With recent global pandemics leaving hospitals overrun and at capacity, medical treatment may have been lowered in quality. However, your issues aren’t without merit and should be addressed. Knowing whom to complain to may seem obscure, and in some situations feel futile. But, the truth is, you do have some power in addressing poor medical treatment, and in many situations, your complaints are not only warranted but advised. Like any other person, in any other profession, doctors, nurses, and all healthcare providers need to be held to a certain standard. If you see it fit to complain, find the right avenue or person to lodge your complaint with. 

About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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