No one wants to become a victim of medical malpractice. While there is no guaranteed way to completely prevent yourself from becoming a medical malpractice victim, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that this will occur. Proactive measures will help protect you against medical malpractice and ensure your health in years to come.
Proactive Medical Malpractice Prevention
When searching for the right doctor, it’s important to be selective and do your research. Look for a history of medical malpractice. Once you’ve verified that a doctor has no such history, look for reviews and testimony from previous patients. If friends or family have had experience with your condition, ask them for referrals and recommendations.
You have the right as the patient to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your condition, diagnosis, potential treatment, and anything else related to your health. This is not only your right, but your responsibility with regard to your own health.
Do Your Research
In addition to asking your doctor questions, do your own research. This serves multiple purposes. First, it allows you to develop more nuanced questions once you have a better understanding of your condition and treatment options. Second, if any information conflicts with what your doctor told you, you can ask him or her to clarify. This may also make it apparent if your doctor is not competent.
Bring a Family Member
Bring a family member or trusted friend with your on trips to your physician’s office. A second opinion will help you make a judgment call on the physician’s credibility.
Trust Your Instincts
If you feel that something isn’t right, trust your instincts. If a diagnosis seems mild, consult another doctor. If you feel you aren’t getting the attention or treatment you deserve, you have no obligation to stay with the same doctor. Getting opinions from multiple professionals in the medical field will only help you in the long run.
Keep records of all communications and documentation you receive from your physician and other related parties during the course of your treatment. Be mindful of discrepancies and inconsistencies that could suggest negligence.