Why Doctors Don’t Listen to Patients — And What You Can Do About It

 

Excellent bedside manner is crucial in healthcare, and yet, many doctors fail to grant patients the respect and consideration they deserve. Not only is this distressing on an emotional level, it can lead to negative physical outcomes. You’re not as helpless as you might think, however. The following suggestions will help you take action and ensure that doctors pay attention:

Document Symptoms Thoroughly

Doctors sometimes struggle to restrain themselves from rolling their eyes when their patients rattle off lists of symptoms from WebMD. While these concerns are often valid, it’s also possible for patients to see problems where they don’t exist.

Combat this perception with thorough documentation of your suffering, including a detailed journal and photos, if necessary. If you look up information online, seek details from trusted resources such as the Centers for Disease Control. Be prepared to discuss your concerns in detail.

Understand the Role of Bias

Some doctors listen — but not to everybody. Racial bias is a real problem in healthcare. The same is true for bias on the basis of disability. These prejudices lead to significant disparities in medical outcomes, fueled, in part, by delayed diagnoses when doctors don’t take patients’ concerns seriously.

While this issue may be difficult to avoid completely, it helps to determine which measures are in place at local healthcare facilities. When possible, seek assistance from locations that emphasize bias and equity training.

Don’t hesitate to speak out if you suspect that your doctor is neglecting your concerns due to factors outside of your control. Consider seeking a second opinion if you believe that your health or safety may be at risk.

Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC today to learn more about your medical malpractice options.