You pay a premium for time with a health care provider. You likely pay for insurance every month and then also have to pay a co-pay when you arrive for your visit. You expect your doctor to listen to you, treat you with compassion and help you resolve your issue.
Unfortunately, while your situation may seem urgent to you, it is just one more appointment in a long day for the doctor meeting with you. Many physicians have so many patients that they cannot reasonably remember details about any individual. They have to familiarize themselves with your entire medical history in the moments before they come into your room and then try to reach a conclusion about the cause of your symptoms.
Proper communication is crucial when you need medical care, but your doctor may not actually listen to you.
Overworked doctors will only spare you seconds of their time
In a shocking study performed just a few years ago, researchers found that the average doctor listens to a patient for just 11 seconds before interrupting. All too often, this may mean that they don’t hear the full story or that they jump to conclusions without giving a patient proper consideration.
You could go without a diagnosis for weeks or months just because your doctor didn’t take the time to listen to you. During that time, not only will you suffer from your symptoms, but your condition could actually get worse.
How do you get your doctor to listen?
The best way to avoid diagnostic mistakes caused by a doctor rushing through an appointment is to prepare ahead of time.
Write out a list of your symptoms in as much detail as possible, including their severity, frequency and duration. Include a list of questions that you need to ask. That way, even if the doctor interrupts you, you will be able to refocus on the most important information. You can also make a point of asking them to include what you said in your chart or medical records.
Unfortunately, some people eventually realize that their doctor didn’t diagnose them when their health takes a turn for the worst. Filing a medical malpractice claim related to miss diagnosis or a failure to diagnose can help you recoup the losses you suffered because of an inattentive doctor.