Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after cancer and heart disease, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Medical malpractice happens when a health-care provider diverges from the established and trusted treatment, resulting in injury or death of the patient. A medical malpractice is never the fault of the victim. However, there are a few things you can to do help reduce the chances of this devastating occurrence: 1. Be Proactive Be proactive when it comes to your health. Do some of your own research to better understand your health condition. Always keep track of your health symptoms and properly report them to your doctor. Bring a written list of questions to ask at your appointments and don’t leave until you receive complete answers. 2. Speak Up Always speak up for your own health and well-being. If you get the feeling that something is wrong with your treatment, share your concerns with your doctor. Never be afraid to ask any and all questions your have. While it’s important to trust your healthcare provider, it’s more important to use your common sense when it comes to your health. 3. Make Sure Your Concerns are Heard Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the health system. Busy days and crowded offices are no excuse for doctors to rush through an appointment or brush of your concerns. A good doctor should spend an adequate amount of time attending to each patient. 4. Bring a Family Member Along Have a trusted friend or family member come along to your important visits. It never hurts to have a second pair of ears and eyes to make sure everything checks out. They can help you speak up and make sure your concerns are heard, or just provide emotional support. 5. Get a Second Opinion If something just seems wrong with your treatment or doctor, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. It is worth the time it takes to search for proper medical care. Never risk your health by entrusting it to a doctor who hasn’t earned your trust and confidence. If they aren’t answering your questions or giving you appropriate time and attention, look elsewhere for treatment.
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