Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of medical disputes among plastic surgeons in Taiwan and to elucidate their perspectives regarding the influence of medical litigation media coverage on the physician-patient relationship. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among plastic surgeons attending a series of continuing education training lectures organized by the Taiwan Society of Plastic Surgery in 2015. Results: Of the 109 respondents, over a third (36.4%) had previously experienced a medical dispute. The vast majority of both physicians who had medical disputes (77.1%) and those who did not (72.1%) felt that the media tends to be supportive of patients in their reporting, and 37.1% of all plastic surgeons felt that the media always portrays the patient as a victim.Respondents who experienced medical disputes in this study felt that the top five leading causes of the high incidence of medical disputes were patient disappointment with procedure results (81.1%), insufficient patient psychological preparation or emotional instability (61.7%), inadequate risk communication on the part of the physician (64.9%), patient uneasiness with the procedure or perception of carelessness (60.6%), and insufficient physician training or incorrect medical evaluation (57.4%). Conclusion: Over a third of the respondents had previously experienced a medical dispute. This study highlights the perception among plastic surgeons that the media reporting of medical disputes and medical litigation is biased in favor of the patients, with 37.1% of the plastic surgeons surveyed opining that patients are always cast as victims.
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