How to Complain About Your Doctor

If your doctor behaved in a way that felt inappropriate or unprofessional, speak up.

  • Sharon Tanenbaum
  • Consider talking with another doctor in the same practice and asking for her opinion. Some hospitals and private practices have a process for handling and addressing patient grievances.
  • If that doesn’t help, contact your state’s medical society or licensing board for instructions on how to file a complaint. (To find the one in your area, go to the American Medical Association’s website, at ama-assn.org, and look under “Medical Ethics” in the Professional Resources section.)
  • Some states, such as California and Texas, offer a consumer-complaint hotline to advise you on your situation. Once you file a formal complaint (you may have the option of filing electronically or by mail), the medical board reviews it. If the board finds a violation, it could take action against the doctor, ranging from a fine to revocation of the doctor’s license.