328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville, Alabama 36460
(251) 575-4203
Health Policy & Advocacy
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
FDA Considers Lowering Nicotine Levels in CigarettesDoctors Facing Challenge to Help Needy While Protecting PracticesPharmacists Encouraged to Learn More About Herbal SupplementsBan Menthols to Help Some Smokers QuitStem Cell Clinics Pitch Pricey, Bogus 'Cures' for Knee PainMany Americans Think Docs Order Too Many Tests, MedsIs Herbal Drug Kratom a Health Friend or Foe?Early Studies Often Show Exaggerated Treatment EffectStrong Tobacco Laws May Weed Out Vapers, TooUnderstanding Rx Nonadherence Can Improve AdherenceBystander Use of Defib Device Doubles Chances of Surviving Cardiac ArrestNew Research Debunks Two Medical Marijuana MythsTake Early Clinical Trials With a Grain of SaltCould Hackers Target Heart Devices?Protecting Your Electronic Health RecordsAfter Another Shooting Tragedy, 'Stop the Bleed' Kits Urged for SchoolsPatients Want Physicians to Have Greater ConnectivityYour Tax Dollars Fund Research on Hundreds of New MedsFour Best Practices Outlined to Prevent Health Care CyberattacksMany Patients Know Too Little About Their MRI, CT Scans: StudyUnsafe Water Found in Faucets Across the U.S.Health Tip: Prevent Exposure to LeadHealth Tip: Online Pharmacies You Should AvoidDon't Count on an American to Do CPRPoll: Personal Beliefs Shouldn't Allow Doctors to Refuse to TreatFDA Says U.S. Will Now Produce Critical MRI ComponentPicking a New Primary Care DoctorUber, Lyft Rides May Not Help Boost Doc Visits for Poorer Patients2018 Immunization Schedule Issued for U.S. ChildrenA Hidden Source of 'Superbugs' in Hospitals?2018 Immunization Schedule Issued for U.S. AdultsTop Three Challenges Identified for Pharmacists in 2018Responding to Opioid Crisis, FDA Puts More Restrictions on ImodiumMonkey Deaths Prompt FDA Probe, New Controls on Animal ResearchCDC: Many U.S. Adults Have Never Been Tested for HIVHealth Tip: Performing CPRPublic Health Workforce to See Large TurnoverSevere Flu Season, Tough Winter a Double Whammy for Blood Banks24-Hour Primary Care Clinics Would Improve Continuity of CareBrochure Can Improve Opioid Disposal Rates After SurgeryReminder, Recall Systems Improve Immunization UptakeSatisfaction Higher in Providers Who E-Mail PatientsRestaurant Bans Have Big Impact on Smoking RatesReduce Legal Blood-Alcohol Limit to Cut Drunk Driving Deaths: ReportFrom Birth On, One Sex Is HardierIs Obesity Slowing Gains in U.S. Life Spans?Health Tip: Perform Regular Skin ChecksFewer Hospitals Closed After Obamacare Expanded MedicaidProgress in Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Shown in CDC MapUSPSTF Questions Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Screening
Related Topics

Health Insurance

Patients More Prone to Complain About Younger Doctors

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 30th 2017

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients apparently are more likely to complain about younger doctors. Case in point: ophthalmologists.

A new study of more than 1,300 ophthalmologists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that as the age of these doctors increased, patient complaints decreased.

"In a time where increasing attention is being paid to aging physicians and mandatory screening for cognitive impairment, the patient's voice can be a powerful tool for understanding performance," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. William Cooper. He's a professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt's School of Medicine.

"Therefore, if a physician suddenly has a change and increase in the frequency of patient complaints against a backdrop of colleagues who typically have fewer complaints, then that person may warrant further evaluation," Cooper said.

The study couldn't pinpoint why patients complain more about younger doctors, Cooper noted.

However, ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Repka has ideas as to why older doctors receive fewer complaints.

With age, he said, comes experience that helps doctors interact better with their patients. Repka is a professor of ophthalmology with Johns Hopkins Medicine, and vice chair of clinical practice at the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore.

"Less experience means that you might say things that you wish you didn't say, as you knew not to say 10 years later," he said, adding that people learn from their errors.

Also, patients might see older doctors as more experienced and knowledgeable, and thus are less likely to complain about them, said Repka, who wasn't involved with the study.

A doctor's ability to manage patients does get better with age, he said, but younger doctors might have an edge when it comes to current medical practices.

Still, Repka said, all doctors -- regardless of age and in all areas of medicine -- get complaints. "I don't think this is particular to ophthalmology," he said.

"Learning about why patient complaints happen can improve the patient care experience for both the doctor and the patient," Repka added.

For the study -- designed to gauge whether the age of a doctor affected the number of patient complaints -- Cooper and his colleagues collected data on 1,342 attending ophthalmologists or neuro-ophthalmologists from 20 health care organizations participating in Vanderbilt's Patient Advocacy Reporting System.

The eye doctors all graduated from medical school before 2010 and ranged in age from 31 to older than 70.

The investigators found that the rate of patient complaints, registered from 2002 to 2015, decreased as physicians got older. Over the span of the study, the complaint rate gradually increased overall, but with steeper increases for younger doctors.

"We should give a voice to patients who have concerns about the care they receive," Cooper said. "They can give us important information to guide safety and quality."

The report was published online Nov. 30 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has more information on patient complaints.

328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203

powered by centersite dot net