Protect Yourself From Your Doctor!

I learned that not all doctors are that great. At the end of the day they’re humans just like us which means they make mistakes. Nevertheless, it’s important to minimize those mistakes ESPECIALLY when it’s YOUR health or a close family of yours we’re talking about! Long story short, my father recently passed away because he was misdiagnosed and went through substandard quality of care. His family doctor told us that my dad was going through muscle pain and that losing weight was completely fine. Within a month my dad was sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with liver cancer and he passed away the following morning. My goal here is to share my lesson to you because I want to make sure that you’re getting the best quality care as much as possible. Learn from us and don’t always assume that every doctor knows what they’re talking about.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from your doctor and also to make sure the doctor is treating you at the highest quality possible!

1) Always ask questions – We used to be intimidated by our doctor because we assumed that he knew everything and that asking questions was embarrassing. Don’t be that person. I would always advise to do some prior research (look through credible websites / books / or someone you know that’s in the medical field which I’ll get into #2), so you can ask those questions and see your doctors response. You want to make sure that the doctor isn’t just there because he or she is getting paid. You can tell if they’re sincere just by answering all your questions thoughtfully and also providing recommendations. Our doctor always kept telling us to trust him and not to worry and to listen to him because he was the professional. Unfortunately we were wrong.

2) Talk to family members / friends that are in the medical field. You want to hear their opinions. Since they’re your family / friend they would care about you and would do whatever it takes to help. It’s always good to hear a secondary opinion especially if that’s their profession. Nevertheless, still do your own research as well. Keep in mind that your body is different from everyone else’s as well. Therefore, you really want to see what doctor would suit your needs.

3) Look online for reviews. The biggest mistake we’ve done is that we checked our dad’s doctor reviews AFTER my father had passed away. We saw that he scored a 2 out of 5! Always read what past patients have said about their doctors. It will give you an “idea,” of who you’re working with.

4) Walls can be deceiving – Usually doctors will show all their diplomas and credentials on their wall. Don’t be too impressed by that it tells you nothing about the doctor. The main thing you should know is if your doctor is board certified in his/her specialty. You’ll want to check your doctor’s background in the Directory of medical specialist. If you’re from the United States you can go to the American Board of Medical Specialties to check your doctor’s credentials.

5) Find out if your doctor is part of the medical staff of a hospital. You’ll want to see if that local hospital has a good reputation! I recently switched my doctor knowing that
-They have good ratings online
-They’re part of a really good hospital
-Everyone that was working at the hospital recommended the doctor.

I’ve learned the hard way that I had a terrible doctor. Please make sure you protect yourself at all times because your health is important! Your family and friends we’ll want to see you at least for another day!

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Leonard Sappleton - May 1, 2015

Very good article. I just pinned the link to it on my recent blog post: Your health is your greatest wealth. These are so important tips that we should all follow. Keep up the good work

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