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chief complaint

chief com·plaint

/CHēf kəmˈplānt/

Noun

The chief complaint is stated in the patient’s words. It is his description about what bothers him the most. It can be documented using quotation marks, especially if it is out of the ordinary. For example, if the patient fell off a ladder, his chief complaint might be “my back hurts” or “I can’t feel my legs” (as opposed to “fall from a ladder”).