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How can patients help doctors make a good diagnosis?

There are many misconceptions about the medical field, but one that hurts doctors the most is that they are perfect. The reality is that doctors are human and do make errors. When doctors make mistakes, many times they don't affect their patients. When they make errors, it's possible that patients could be left with serious injuries or pass away.

Even though doctors are expected to be perfect, it's a reality that they aren't. Because of that, it's possible to hold them accountable for their mistakes and to obtain compensation or further treatments for any errors they made.

How can patients help their doctors?

To avoid missed or erroneous diagnoses, it's a good idea for patients to tell their doctors everything about a condition. They should explain when it started, what feels better or worse and other details that could help a doctor make a diagnosis or determine which tests to order.

Patients should also remember that tests aren't everything. Even tests come back with errors and can be misread. How you feel says a lot about your health. If you have horrible stomach pains, there is a reason for it. Maybe it's something simple, and nothing will come back on tests. Maybe it's something more serious that tests find but that don't get reported. Whatever the case is, if you don't feel well, you need to keep pushing for answers.

If you're misdiagnosed or suffer because of a doctor's mistakes, you need to make sure you know your rights. Medical errors happen, but you should hold the person responsible liable.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "The Biggest Misconceptions People Have About the Medical Profession," accessed April 20, 2018

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