When you see a doctor, whether for a routine check-up or a specific complaint, you tend to trust that professional’s medical knowledge. However, doctors do make mistakes, and diagnostic or treatment errors can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. Medical error is among the the leading causes of death in the U.S. Sometimes, you may feel uneasy but remain unsure as to whether you have identified a real red flag or are just nervous. In the following situations, follow your instincts and get a second opinion, just in case.
Your doctor recommends non-emergency major surgery
Major surgery carries significant risks and often results in a difficult recovery period for the patient. In many cases, surgery still remains the best treatment option. In other situations, less drastic alternatives can prove effective. If your doctor recommends major surgery for a non-emergency condition, you may seek a second opinion before agreeing to take this serious step.
You feel something is wrong
If something does not sit right with you about the diagnosis or treatment you receive, you may want to discuss your condition with another doctor. Like other people, doctors can overlook things or draw the wrong conclusions. Getting a second opinion can help you get the right treatment or back up the first doctor’s opinion and set your mind at ease.
Your doctor does not listen to you
This may not seem like a major issue to many patients, but failing to listen to patients can cause serious problems. If you notice that your doctor interrupts you, does not allow you time to ask all the questions you need and generally seems impatient and short on time, your health can be at risk. This is not a question of simple politeness — a doctor who does not listen to you as a patient can miss out on important information about symptoms, and then go on to make diagnoses and decisions about your treatment without having the full picture.
When doctors make mistakes, patients can suffer severe consequences. If you suspect your doctor has given you the wrong treatment or a late or wrong diagnosis, speak with an experienced attorney about the possibility of filing a malpractice suit to recover damages.
Written on behalf of Friedman, Schuman, Applebaum & Nemeroff, P.C. Contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.