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Questions to ask during a doctor visit

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

When New York residents become sick, they may visit their doctor in order to get better. However, while they know that their doctor has a wealth of information available, there are certain things that they may not discuss with their patient. Asking the right questions during a routine doctor visit could prevent medical errors that may possibly be fatal.

Studies indicate that one in every 20 patients may be misdiagnosed. Although only a small percentage results in serious injuries, patients should express their concerns to their physician if they believe something does not feel right or if they need more clarification. Moreover, research has shown that when new medical residents begin caring for patients in July, there is a 10 percent increase in fatal medication errors. Patients may be proactive in avoiding such an error by confirming the details of their medication.

Inquiring about a physician’s complication rates in comparison to national averages may also be a good idea; doctors who answer honestly may be more aware of when complications occur and how to prevent them. Additionally, if it is possible, a patient should ask to schedule a surgery during the morning weekdays since his or her primary doctor might not be available during weekends to take immediate action if a complication arises.

Due to the advancements in modern medicine, there are various treatments available to patients for previously incurable diseases. However, a patient should also understand that a doctor may not recommend certain treatments due to the associated risks and adverse effects.

If a serious injury does occur as a result of negligence, the patient may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the healthcare facility where the injury took place. Pain and suffering, additional medical care expenses and lost wages are some of the damages a patient may be compensated for.

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

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