Patients' Biggest Gripe About Physicians

December 10, 2014

We know patients feel frustration with their physicians on some level. But, surprisingly, it's not always about the long wait.

In a national survey, Consumer Reports asked 1,000 Americans to rate typical complaints about doctors on a 1 to 10 scale with 1 meaning "you are not bothered at all" and 10 meaning "you are bothered tremendously."Seminar audiences of physicians often guess "waiting," or "inconvenient office hours." They're indeed bothersome to people but not as much, it seems, as an "unclear explanation of problem," which was number one on the list of patients' gripes with a score of 8.3 on that 1 to 10 scale.Other complaints included being "rushed during office visit" (7.8); "side effects (of medication) not fully explained" (7.6); "long wait for doctor in exam or waiting room" (7.6); "inconvenient office hours" (6.5); and "doctor takes notes on device, not looking at patient" (6.2).Let's deal with that number one gripe: unclear explanation of problem. Here are some tested tips for avoiding this complaint.To view the slides in PDF format, click here.