You rely on your doctor to figure out what is wrong with you and help you get treatment. Doctors are often the only ones who can recommend specialized testing to check for issues ranging from cancer to soft tissue injuries.
Unfortunately, some physicians don’t listen to patients when they describe their symptoms or suggest what they think might be wrong. In fact, some doctors will refuse to take actions suggested by their patients, even if it is a test to rule out a certain medical condition.
A dismissive doctor could delay your diagnosis and affect your quality of life. How can you manage an interaction with a doctor that doesn’t take you seriously?
Be your own best advocate
If you have to go in for a meeting with a physician who has ignored or downplayed your self-reported symptoms in the past, you want to come in well-prepared next time. Keeping a record of when you experienced certain symptoms than any other special details could help you prove what you have experienced or at least convince your doctor to look into things more carefully.
Reading up about the possible tests or treatments for your symptoms could help, as could keeping a list of questions to ask. Sometimes just asking your doctor about what will happen if the symptom doesn’t go away or keeps getting worse might prompt them to finally take action.
Make them put your concerns down in writing
Failure to diagnose is one of the most common kinds of medical malpractice, and it can also be hard to prove. A negligent and dismissive physician may not make notes in your chart indicating what symptoms you reported. It becomes your word against theirs about what you told them and how they failed you.
If they refuse testing or treatment for certain symptoms, plainly ask them to document their refusal in your medical chart and to provide you with a copy of this most recent entry in your medical record before you leave the appointment. When a doctor knows that there is a firm record of their attitude toward you, they may reconsider how they treat you.
Making sure you have the right records can play a major role in bringing a failure to diagnose medical malpractice claim against your physician.