Your doctor should protect you from harm and address threatening health conditions with precision. However, there are times when health care providers neglect to provide adequate care.
There are many reasons for medical malpractice including miscommunication, fatigue and recklessness. Even though you are the patient, there are things you can do to better protect yourself from the dangers of malpractice.
Rely on communication
Communication is an integral part of any relationship. Your health care provider is no exception. Find a doctor you trust and who you feel comfortable talking with. Express your concerns, discuss your health history and collaborate to identify solutions.
Prior to your appointment, make a list of topics you wish to discuss. Some questions you can ask may include the following:
- What is your experience treating this disease?
- What will treatment look like?
- What improvements should treatment bring?
- What does preparation for treatment look like?
According to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 251,000 people die from medical malpractice each year in the United States. One of the best ways to identify malpractice is to actively monitor your own health, especially after receiving medical treatment.
During your recovery from surgery or after receiving specialized treatment, watch for worsening health conditions. Take notes about how you feel and verify with your doctor that your symptoms are not the result of a mistake or adverse reaction to treatment. Take advantage of follow-up appointments and participate in any required therapies. If you ever notice something amiss or feel dissatisfied with the care you receive, immediately notify your health care provider. If they do not respond proactively and respectfully, you may want to find another doctor.