To the Editor: In his Editorial about the relationship
between patient complaints and malpractice risk, Dr Sage1
supports the familiar contention the patient is always right. However, this
argument may not be helpful in addressing concerns about medical malpractice
It seems to me that patient satisfaction is rarely correlated with the
actual quality of care that physicians render. Sage alludes to this fact in
a vignette about an incompetent yet beloved physician in his past. To be sure,
my patients would prefer that I encourage their smoking and advocate increased
consumption of alcohol. Their satisfaction with my care would be high. Would
Sage have me change my practice in this way to comply with his axiom of customer
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