GPs are seeing a growing number of incidents of violent behaviour by patients, new figures by a doctors' group have revealed.
L'Ordre des Médecins' annual report found 540 reported cases of violent physical threats against doctors - 10% of which prompted the GP to take time off work for treatment or to recover from shock.
The worst department was the Seine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris, which made up 10% of all the cases reported in France.
One local doctor told France Info he was threatened by a patient with an axe. "When you work in A&E you get insults and violence, but you wouldn't expect it to happen in a GP's surgery - a complete stranger, pulling out a knife," he said.
Jean-François Guyonnard, from the Observatoire pour la Sécurité des Médecins said there was no obvious reason for many of the threats and attacks reported by doctors.
Unions say a number of doctors in the Seine-Saint-Denis have decided to move to another department because the job has become too dangerous and stressful.