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Prepared patients increase the likelihood of a good diagnosis

Residents of Denver who are planning to see their physician may be interested to learn more about steps they can take to make better use of their time with their doctor. Patients who take the time to prepare for their doctor's appointment may be able to reduce their risk of misdiagnosis.

In many cases, how symptoms are communicated to a doctor can have a big impact on the final diagnosis. Forgetting to mention a symptom, supplement or medication could leave the physician without critical information needed to make the proper diagnosis. Write down questions for the doctor to make sure all areas of concern are discussed. For those who have already been prescribed a treatment by their doctor, it is important that they communicate how effective the treatment has been for the symptoms they experienced as well as any noticeable side effects.

If medical tests are performed, it is important to follow up to find out the results when the doctor's office has not made contact within a reasonable amount of time. Those who have several issues to discuss with their doctor should mention that when scheduling their appointment so that more time can be allotted if necessary. Even when a physician provides a diagnosis, it may be beneficial to discuss other possible causes of the symptoms to get a complete picture of the prognosis and other treatment options.

Individuals who feel they are suffering negative effects as the direct result of having their condition misdiagnosed by a physician may benefit from a legal consultation. An attorney may be able to present evidence of negligent acts on the part of the physician that could lead to a court judgment or negotiated settlement.

Source: The Washington Post, "Even good doctors make mistakes, but you can improve the odds of a correct diagnosis", May 27, 2014

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