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Rise in Complaints About Doctors in Social Media

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Published on : Jul 21, 2014

A report commissioned by the General Medical Council states that there has been a rise in the complaints against doctors. This displays that social media and press coverage paints a negative picture of the medical profession.

Complaints made by the public against doctor have doubled between the period of 2007 till 2012. A research team based in the Plymouth University was asked to investigate this increase in the number. The GMC stated that there was no evidence available of the falling standards in their profession.

However, the report doesn’t point fingers to any specific cause for the rise in the numbers of complaints made by general public. The data shows that the complaints from 5,168 in 2007 reached to a figure of 10,347 after five years. This is almost the double of the figure which was five years back.

The researchers stated that they identified several trends which made that the public is more prone to making complaints about their health care providers.

The report stated that since patients are now better informed about their health, they have higher expectations from doctors and tend to treat them with less deference compared to the past. Also, social media has played a role in the rise in complaints, since it encourages people to discuss their experiences with medical professionals in public forum. This allows for information to be easily accessed and shared.

But, negative press coverage can harm the medical professionals’ reputation which could result in more people making complaints based on their personal experiences.

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