Whenever we suffer from illness, our first course of action is to visit the doctor. As laymen, we entrust our health and wellness in the hands of medical professionals since we assume that they have the best knowledge regarding medicine. These healthcare professionals went to school for quite a while to understand human anatomy and how to treat sickness and other injuries that are too complex for simple home remedies, however, what we also need to understand is that these medical professionals are people too and people make mistakes.
An estimate from John Hopkins University School of Medicine claims that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The claim states that over 250,000 people are killed in the USA every year because of a medical professional’s mistake, and the reasons range from wrong diagnoses to medication errors. With the way that the human anatomy works, a single mistake can cost the patient their life.
There are a lot of medical malpractice lawsuits that are being filed every year to help patients who suffered injuries or even death while getting treated by medical professionals. Although these claims and lawsuits may help the victim or their family recover some of the damages that they have suffered, it’s still preferable to receive the best medical care possible. Here are some tips for you when seeking medical help to avoid having to file a medical malpractice lawsuit:
1. Find the right fit. – Every doctor has their specialization in the medical field, but this is not the only thing that you should consider when looking for a doctor. You should find a doctor who is attentive and will listen to your complaints and symptoms. Doctors usually have a lot of patients to think about so it might be hard to find someone whose sole focus is you but try your best to look for a doctor who will at least listen to you and not dismiss your symptoms.
2. Come prepared. – If you plan on visiting the doctor, make sure that you are prepared. Try to make a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing, the frequency of the symptom and even its severity. You also have to take note of all the medications and supplements you’re taking.
3. Be specific. – When you’re stating your symptoms to your doctor, be specific about it. Don’t just say that you’re stomach is aching because several kinds of stomach pain may point to different underlying causes. There’s no need for you to present your symptoms in medical terms, a way for you to help your doctor understand what kind of pain you have is by using similes like “My stomach feels like someone is punching it.” Using a rating system to pinpoint the level of pain may also be helpful.
4. Be curious. – You can always ask your doctor to explain what the next steps will be and why you need to undergo certain treatments. It also doesn’t hurt to ask “What else could it be?” This question might help your doctor be open to looking into another diagnosis which also fits your symptoms. Remember, it is your health and wellbeing on the line, and you have the right to ask questions about it.
5. Respect is key. – Always be respectful and cordial to your doctor and other medical professionals, they are human beings too, and they are trying their best to help you recover. If you come in for a check-up and you’re rude and antagonistic, their willingness to help you find the cure for your illness will undoubtedly go down.
6. Research is not taboo. – Many people assume that doctors get mad when you bring up the fact that you’ve looked up your symptoms on the Internet. If you’ve taken time to research your symptoms on the Internet, you can bring this up during your check-up in a way that would not make your doctor feel disrespected. Inform them that you’ve looked up your symptoms and let them consider your research instead of demanding treatments and procedures based on the results you found on the Internet.
Are you involved in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit caused by medical malpractice? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.