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Review Article

Perspectives on Violence against Doctors

Year : 2018 | Volume : 6 | Issue : 3 Page : 6-13

Dr Amitav Banerjee

Address for correspondence: Dr Amitav Banerjee, Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr DY PatilVidyapeeth, Pune – 411018, India.



Medical professionals are a worried lot. Patients are not only losing trust in doctors due to various factors, but they also are manhandling and suing them in case of bad outcomes. Hospitals being vandalized by patients, relatives and attendants have become all too common. Many doctors face verbal and physical abuse. Paradoxically with advances in medical technology the doctor-patient relationship has suffered. This is due to machines replacing humans. Corporatization of medical care has led to a rapidly growing medical industry. Medical care has become similar to factory assembly line with depersonalization of both patient and doctor. This review article describes what constitutes violence, the historical background, the situation in India and neighboring countries, the global scenario with special emphasis on the USA as a bellwether of global trends, the research evidence or rather the lack of it, the possible causes, the high risk specialties, profile of offenders and precipitating factors, the long term impact of violence on health professionals, andthe issues which need better research with better methods. Lastly it also gives an overview of what can be done in the short run to address the phenomenon of increasing violence, such as legislation, action on part of doctors such as improving their communication skills both verbal and nonverbal, and early identification of warning signs. Action on part of management should include good security, restriction of visitors, standard operating procedures, mock drills and insurance cover.

Keywords :Violence; workplace; doctors; trends.


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