Many people look up to doctors as paragons of intelligence and skilled decision-makers under pressure. However, doctors are human. They can make mistakes, judge situations incorrectly or overlook important details, just like everyone else. They may also have deep-seated biases or prejudices that subconsciously impact the way they practice medicine.
Sometimes, when you see a doctor, the end result is not an improvement to your symptoms or condition. Sometimes, doctors fail to diagnose what is wrong with you. Other times, they may place the blame for your issues on an unrelated factor, such as obesity.
Unfortunately, that can mean that you do not receive adequate care from your physician. If you suspect that your doctor has not properly diagnosed you or made decisions in your best interest, it may be time to seek a second opinion.
You have the right to seek the advice of another physician
Many people maintain long-term relationships with their family doctor, relying on the same professional for many years. This benefits the patient, because the doctor will be able to better identify problematic symptoms and track potential issues over many years.
Sadly, that same relationship may make it difficult for people to question their doctor when they are worried about the diagnosis or care they receive. It’s important to realize that your doctor is not a friend, but rather a professional that you rely upon. If they have failed to perform their job, you have every right to seek the advice and help of someone who will listen to you or better address your concerns. Getting a second opinion could even save your life if the condition is serious, such as cancer.
You have the right to take action when your doctor fails to diagnose or treat you
Accurate and timely diagnoses are critical to receiving the right interventions for a condition. Whether you need surgery, prescription medication or even chemotherapy, the sooner you identify the condition and seek proper treatment, the better your overall prognosis. When your doctor fails to listen to you or makes an incorrect assumption about the cause of your symptoms, it can drastically impact the prognosis for your condition and your quality of life.
It’s important to understand that you may have the right to pursue financial compensation in the event that your doctor fails you. This is particularly true if the delay in diagnosis results in more expense on your part to treat the condition or a significant reduction of your standard of living.
If you believe that a failure by your doctor constitutes medical malpractice, it may be time to discuss the details with someone who can help you stand up for your legal rights as a patient.