Communication between you and your doctor can serve many purposes including protecting you from malpractice. Regular discussions about your health can encourage accountability from your doctor.
Follow-up appointments, in particular, can give you clarification on health-related matters. With this information, you can make informed decisions about your health and your future.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for any doctor appointment is to write down your questions. Trying to remember everything you want to discuss without writing it down puts you at risk of forgetting important details. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging also suggests that you compile information including your health history and any medications you currently take.
For follow-up appointments, you should include information about your progress since your last treatment or since you started a new prescription. Look for discrepancies in what your doctor told you at your initial appointment and what you have since experienced. Vocalize your confusion and ask why something different may have transpired instead of what the doctor anticipated. Taking a proactive approach to your health in this manner can show your doctor that you take your health seriously.
Another valuable reason for follow-up appointments is to improve your understanding of your diagnosis. Misunderstandings between you and your doctor could increase your risks of malpractice if you receive inadequate or unnecessary treatments. If you feel that your doctor does not show adequate interest in your concerns, you may want to seek a second opinion.
Following up with your doctor can help you maintain control of your health. If you suffer from malpractice because of an irresponsible doctor, an attorney can help you identify your next steps.