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Useful facts about medical professionals

Individuals in Florida should keep in mind that when they are under a doctor's care, there are several things to watch out for. One is medication errors. These rise by 10 percent in July when new residents arrive in hospitals, but individuals should always question medical personnel if instructions about medication do not seem right.

The best time to have elective surgery is early in the week and early in the day. Complications rise for surgeries done later in the day and on Fridays because the regular medical staff is no longer around. The first 12 hours after surgery are when most complications develop, so individuals should try to ensure they have as much time with the regular staff post-surgery as possible. Even good doctors can make an initial misdiagnosis, and misdiagnoses in doctors' offices are not infrequent. Doctors should have a follow-up plan for ensuring that treatment is working and be willing to reconsider the diagnosis if it is not.

Doctors should also be forthcoming about their complication rates for surgery and other procedures and how those rates compare to national averages as well as their attitudes toward end-of-life care. Some doctors may feel that quality-of-life issues trump heroic efforts to keep patients alive. Individuals should ensure they agree with their doctors' approaches.

A medical malpractice suit may be appropriate in some of the above cases if negligence has occurred. If a patient has nonspecific symptoms and the doctor tries a few different treatments before settling on a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder, this is probably not negligent behavior. However, if a patient comes during a heart attack and the doctor dismisses the individual without examination because the individual is not in the right demographic for heart attacks, this may constitute medical negligence.

Source: Care2, "5 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You Unless You Ask ", Ann Pietrangelo, August 04, 2014

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