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10 tips when telling a doctor your story

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2016 | Failure To Diagnose

Do you ever feel like your doctor simply doesn’t listen to you when you’re trying to explain what’s wrong? If so, here are a few tips you can use to get better results.

1. Use graphs and drawings. Most people just try to tell their story verbally, but using a graphic image can slow the conversation down and force the doctor to listen.

2. Start at the beginning. It’s best if things go chronologically. Many people naturally start at the end, with the most recent symptoms — after all, those are what finally got them to go to the doctor in the first place. You’re better off to start at the beginning.

3. Tell your doctor about life changes and use examples. For instance, if you’re having migraines, the doctor may not know how bad they are. Just saying they’re quite bad isn’t as helpful as telling a story about how you have never had a sick day in 10 years, but you finally had to take one.

4. Don’t try to use medical terms. You may be drawn to this to try to talk in the same way as the doctor, but even slightly misusing a medical term can give the doctor completely the wrong idea. Use simple language and allow the doctor to draw conclusions from there.

Remember, even if you do the above, a doctor may not listen. This can sometimes lead to a medical malpractice case if the doctor then makes the wrong diagnosis or misses the issue entirely, all while you were trying to explain what was going on. If this happens, be sure you know what rights you may have to compensation.

Source: W hen Doctors Don’t Listen, “10 Tips to Telling Your Story,” Leana Wen, accessed June 13, 2016

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