Table 2

Comparison of categories of professionalism elements as considered relevant by physicians during focus group interviews1 to categories of poor professionalism identified by patients (and/or their relatives) in unsolicited complaint letters

Physicians during focus group interviewsPatients (and/or relatives) in unsolicited complaint letters
2.Keeping distance, respecting boundaries2.Medical error, insufficient care and expertise
3.Medical knowledge and expertise3.Respect
4.Respect4.Waiting for care
5.Teamwork5.Organisation and management
6.Empathy, sympathy, patient centeredness6.Teamwork
7.Organisation and management7.Sympathy and empathy, patient centeredness
8.Honesty and self-reflection8.Reliability
9.Leadership9.Continuity of care
10.Commitment and responsibility10.Documentation, record keeping
11.Technical skills11.Commitment and responsibility
12.Norms and values12.Shared decision making
13.Attitude13.Accessibility and approachability
14.Appearance14.Problems around discharge
15.Altruism15.Financial issues, billing problems
16.Reliability16.Privacy of the patient-doctor relationship
18.Honesty and self-reflection