Did you know that if a doctors spends just an extra 45 seconds with a patient, the risk of litigation for medical malpractice greatly decreases?
What can a doctor do with an extra 45 seconds? Proper doctor patient communication for one. However, a study done at the University of Melbourne in Australia found that physicians do not always, and in fact rarely, inform their patients of the health hazards their treatments may cause. The study looked at 481 medical malpractice claims and found that 85% of them centered around inadequate disclosure of surgical or treatment hazards, such as chronic pain, infertility, loss of vision or hearing, second surgery, etc. Most importantly, the study also found that physicians severely underestimate the patient’s desire for full disclosure. Wouldn’t you want to know if a treatment may cause poor quality of life? According to physicians in the study, you don’t need to know.
Another study has found that nearly half of all U.S. physicians report at least one symptom of burnout. An overwhelming majority--ninety percent--of the physicians in the study are professionals that the general public consults with, such as internists and family practice doctors. Physician burnout can cause costly mistakes that affect your pocketbook and quality of life.
At your next doctor visit, take the initiative and directly ask your physician about any information you need to know about the treatment or medication he or she is proposing, in order to avoid complications down the road.