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Patient Rights When a Doctor is Wrong

by tylercook on September 30, 2013

Doctors are the magicians we turn to when sniffles become more than a cold, or pain becomes more than we can bear. It’s an impressive title, meant to instill trust and assure us we are in the right hands. But what happens if that trust is broken? When a case of strep lasts too long, or a benign spot seems to be growing? Trust fades and anger or resentment arises instead. If a visit to your physician leaves you with more questions than answers, there are steps you can take to ensure you receive the treatment entitled to you.

Are You Listening to Me?

We’ve all felt ignored by a doctor, but if this feeling is constant it decreases the quality of care you receive and may result in a true case of doctor negligence. How do you know if you’re being ignored or if the doctor is having a bad day? A few signs that a physician is not giving you the attention you deserve are:

The physician discusses themselves rather than your concerns
The nurses are available, but the doctor never seems to appear
Polite yet challenging questions are responded to with anger or defensiveness
A provider decides, before evaluating you, what the diagnosis is and how to treat it

If the above statements sound like your doctor, you have the option to change who provides your care. Though switching doctors may feel unnerving, staying with a doctor who doesn’t provide the care you are entitled to is a betrayal to your health. When deciding to change providers, you must first determine what type of doctor you want to manage your health. Know your choices and research options to ensure you get the care you desire.

Change is Good

Your insurance company can provide you with doctors approved by your coverage plan, then you can visit your state medical board to confirm a physician’s license status, and the county clerk’s office will have records of any lawsuits against them if you’re interested. Healthgrades.com is a site that will provide tips on how to choose a physician, as well as links to doctor profiles and their specialties. Be sure to have the clinic transfer your medical records to your new physician, no explanation is necessary. There may be a fee for the transfer, but your new physician needs all the information to treat you properly.

Malpractice vs. Negligence

When simply ignoring a patient evolves into mistreating a patient, it can cause severe complications for all parties. Medical Negligence and Malpractice are serious issues, not to be taken lightly if you feel a health diagnosis was missed or you or a family member were injured as the result of medical treatment. Trust your instincts to know when something is wrong, and find support to determine if you have a case against a physician, or simply cause to report them to the medical board.

A Healthy Diagnosis

We will all need the help of a physician at some point in our lives. Doctor apathy, negligence, or medical malpractice causes problems for patients and their families, hospital facilities, and other doctors. Be aware of your rights as a patient, and know your responsibilities to ensure you are receiving proper treatment. Awareness and transparency between doctors and patients will result in better medical care and a healthier planet for all to live in.

tylercook

tylercook

tylercook

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