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Medical Errors: Discuss Them Or Switch Doctors?

Posted Dec 05 2010 1:44pm
Patients won’t confront doctors if they think there’s been a mistake. They’ll just find a new doctor, even if there’d been no medical error.

Researchers looked at adult visits to seven primary care practices in North Carolina during 2008. They asked patients about their perceptions of medical mistakes and how did it influence the choice to switch doctors.

Of 1,697 patients, 265 (15.6 percent) reported a mistake had been made, 227 (13.4 percent) reported a wrong diagnosis, 212 (12.5 percent) reported a wrong treatment, and 239 (14.1 percent) reported changing doctors as a result. appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

But anecdotes cited by patients as mistakes were often normal diagnostic or therapeutic challenges. A typical scenario might be the patient reported symptoms, the doctor did not correctly diagnose it at first presentation, and a specialist or second physician offered a specific diagnosis. Other scenarios included medication trials or side effects from the prescription.


If you are not happy with your doctor ( or his staff), please speak up ! You have invested time , energy and money on your relationship - why throw it all away without giving him a chance to fix the problem if you are not happy ? If patients do not provide feedback, how will doctors improve ?



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