There are a number of troubling realities about the practice of medicine today in Ohio and the rest of the United States. Many doctors are overworked and take extra-long shifts that lead to sleep deprivation. Other doctors are too quick to reach for their prescription pads and fail to adequately listen to their patients.
Additionally, some doctors lack professionalism and are even willing to lie to their patients, supposedly for their own good. All of these problems can lead to misdiagnosis or other forms of medical malpractice. That is why it’s important for all patients to be able to detect behavior that could mean they are at risk.
1. Is your doctor sleep deprived? According to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, surgeons who get less than six hours of sleep the night before a procedure have twice as many operation complications as those who are well rested. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut rules for doctors requiring time-off in between shifts to ensure adequate sleep.
2. Is your doctor prescription happy? On average, overworked physicians take a mere 17 minutes or less to diagnose their patients’ ailments and prescribe a remedy, which is often a prescription drug. In fact, from 1999 to 2009, the number of prescriptions written by doctors in the United States increased by 39 percent. All too often, prescriptions are the easiest option instead of the best option to treat patients.
3. Does your doctor stretch the truth? According to a new study from Health Affairs, half of physicians admitted to sugarcoating a bad prognosis. Eleven percent admitted to lying to a patient in the past year. When the patient doesn’t know the whole truth, it prevents him or her from being able to make fully-informed decisions.
If your doctor fits any of these descriptions, it’s probably best to find a new MD who will better suit your needs. Otherwise, you could be at risk of medical malpractice.
Source: MSNBC, “Doctors behaving badly: 7 types to watch out for,” Kristen Dold, June 3, 2012