Patient complaints

I have a patient who filed a complaint about me in the hospital stating I was not committed enough to her.

The first time I saw her, she first had been treated by a physician in training and she refused to go back to her, she did not trust her, ‘she did not know what she was doing’.

In that first conversation, I listened and offered to repeat the investigation, to satisfy her and take away concerns.

Afterwards, she did the same thing to me.

She thinks I’m missing something. She has demanded that texts in her medical file were changed – by me but also with other physicians. She has demanded extra meetings to discuss everything she feels like is going wrong.

I have honored these ‘request’ and in hindsight I have allowed her to cross boundaries on numerous occasions. She’s very pushy, persistent and sometimes aggressive.

Now that she filed a complaint, the hospital wants me to respond or talk to her again, which has been done several times but nothing I say seems to change her feelings and I feel a lot of resistance to doing this because I think it won’t change anything AND because I feel a little coerced. I could also do it in writing.

In her file, I can see that she does this to every physician. She feels she’s not heard and feels she should speak up for all the patients that would not dare to speak up.

I have wasted so much time an and energy thinking of this. I’m struggling with a response. I feel like she has her thought which I cannot change, and that is okay. And really nothing has harmed her physically, so it feels like a play of power.

How can I respond and how can I offer myself some more compassion?

I know that complaints are part of my job, and as I see with my colleagues mostly it doesn’t even concern the medical facts but the feelings they have based on their thoughts.