The majority of medical malpractices happens entirely out of the patients’ control. Medical negligence usually catches patients by surprise, which are stunned when figuring out they have just become a victim of someone’s malpractice. However, it doesn’t always come as a total surprise.
Although it is not always possible to foresee it, the following 5 tips can prevent much medical malpractice.
1. Take responsibility
Remember that if you’re uninvolved or detached, you are going to be at higher risk for mistreatment or mistakes. Don’t hesitate to take responsibility for your own health and ask questions. If needed, bring a list of concerns and questions to medical appointments. If you get unreasonable answers from your doctor or if he ignores your questions, find another doctor.
Take your time researching your medical issue. There are plenty of books on diseases ranging from common cold to severe illnesses such as cancer. It’s also recommended that you understand the benefits and potential risks before agreeing to a treatment or surgery. Try to find out how long it takes to recover.
2. Choose a competent, caring doctor
If you have the liberty to select a doctor, make sure to do it wisely. It may need some research to find the right one, but it’s worth the effort. It’s a good idea to talk to medical professionals or friends in order to get a good referral. You should primarily look for a physician who is experienced, respectful, honest, and board certified.
If you have any doubt about a certain doctor, be sure to check with the local court records and/or state medical board to find out if that doctor has ever been accused of medical malpractice.
3. Trust your instincts
Some patients have gut feelings or warning signs that steer them away from a “dangerous” doctor. Even the seemingly harmless symptoms and signs can indicate a severe disease. For example, if you have noticed blood in your stool, ask for a simple diagnostic test. It may sometimes point to colon cancer. Prevention is better than cure!
4. Bring a relevant advocate along
It’s a daunting task to deal alone with a difficult medical condition, which is especially true when it comes to medical malpractice. Invite a trusted relative or friend to advocate on your behalf. He or she will help you navigate a medical terrain unfamiliar to you and better cope with your health issue by monitoring your medications, taking notes, asking questions, and providing you support.
5. Provide all the facts
Keep in mind that you can endanger your own health and handicap your doctor alike when withholding medical information. Maybe your doctor will forget to ask you something important to your condition, or he is not aware of that at all. Do not provide incomplete information since it can lead to different accidents, such as lethal drug interaction. Also, make sure to mention even those details that seem trivial.
Aside from above-mentioned tips, you are also advised to follow your doctor’s instructions, make allies, get a second opinion, and demand discipline for careless medical staff. By following these tips, you won’t be 100% safe but you’ll significantly lower the risk of becoming a medical malpractice victim. Your health is worth it!