Medical malpractice affects the lives of innocent people every day. Misunderstandings, oversights, ignorance and poor communication can all endanger patients’ lives.
While patients cannot completely control their doctors’ behavior, they can play a role in mitigating harmful actions. Good communication can lead to a positive patient-doctor relationship.
Medical professionals see a number of patients each day. Every person has unique symptoms and circumstances that require different diagnoses and treatments. Developing trust requires time and proactive effort. According to the National Library of Medicine, the quality of patient-doctor relationships directly impacts the effectiveness of treatment.
People can develop a good relationship with their health care provider when they advocate for their health. Patients should come to their appointments with questions prepared ahead of time. They should request follow-up appointments after tests. They should actively voice any concerns about their health. They should keep track of their symptoms so they can update their doctor on their condition. When patients prioritize communication, their doctors should reciprocate and trust will follow.
When doctors do not take the time to get to know their patients, mistakes can happen. Patients can make this job easier when they proactively provide their doctor with all applicable information. According to Consumer Reports, this information may include the following:
- A list of medications they take
- A list of symptoms they experience
- A list of other specialists they see
Patients may inquire about which methods their doctor uses to document such information. They can verify that their doctor has updated the information accordingly in preparation for future appointments and treatments.
A good patient-doctor relationship develops over time. Commitment from both parties can facilitate a sustainable relationship built on trust, mutual respect and understanding.