Stopping medical malpractice- how patients can help -conclusion

(previously posted under the title 6 reasons to sue your doctor-and how not to-conclusion) 

The final  reason to sue your doctor involves feelings ,which is more  difficult to quantify and illustrate than the behaviors I have discussed before. Attorney Richard Baker tells physicians, “Don’t be afraid to face them (family of a patient with a bad outcome.) It’s important to let them know you understand how they feel. Compassionate gestures count.”

The best way for physicians and patients to work through their feelings about a bad outcome is to start out with a mutually respectful, cooperative relationship. Just like any other relationship, there may be times of disagreement; but these can and should be resolved with each satisfied that their viewpoint has been listened to and considered and  are comfortable with the final decision.

mission trip in Mexico; photo by Brian Edgerton
mission trip in Mexico; photo by Brian Edgerton

More important than liking your doctor is feeling comfortable with their personality and communication style, respecting their knowledge and skill, and trusting that they will behave ethically and do what is in the patient’s best interest. Patients contribute to the relationship by respecting the doctor’s time, observing boundaries on the doctor’s personal life, and being financially responsible.

When you are unhappy with some aspect of your care, doctors prefer that you address the issue directly and respectfully; no one likes feeling attacked personally. A complaint should be as specific as possible and include what you think is the solution. If you find yourself feeling disappointed, frustrated, or angry at your doctor more times than not, don’t let the situation drag on or escalate. It’s time to admit that the relationship is not compatible and move on.

Here are some ideas on how to find a new doctor.

Here is a summary of the 6 ways patients can help stop medical malpractice suits: 

  1. Cultivate communication

    Doctors need to do it better, and patients need to feel that their input is welcome and valued.

  2. Understand what’s happening

    Doctors need to explain information and patients should ask questions when they don’t fully understand

  3. Credentials

    Doctors need to stay current in their specialty certifications and licensure and patients need access to that information.

  4. Follow up-

    Doctors need to report all diagnostic results and patients need to receive them

  5. Report problems-

    Doctors need to know if anything irregular is happening and patient should report their observations without fear of retaliation

  6. Establish rapport

    Doctors and patients don’t need to be BFFs but should respect each other and show kindness and compassion. We all need it.

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

One thought on “Stopping medical malpractice- how patients can help -conclusion”

Please comment or ask a question

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: