It can be both scary and frustrating dealing with doctors and hospitals. Here are some helpful hints.
- Sign up for online access to your records. This way you will always have them and you can read the records should you have questions about a diagnosis.
- Call the office beforehand to make sure your insurance is accepted, what the co pays and deductibles are, and whether a referral from your doctor is required for tests.
- Write down on a piece of paper before you go in all of your symptoms and when they started. If you have a complicated story, it is often difficult to explain that to the doctor with the limited time available.
- Ask the doctor to explain things in plain language. Doctors use medical terms because that is how they were trained. It is not offensive to ask them to explain things so you can understand.
- Take someone with you to your appointment and let them come in while the doctor is explaining a diagnosis. Two heads are better than one.
- Ask the doctor how many surgeries he or she has done. Don't be shy about asking about experience. Many of ask more questions about our car than we do about ourselves.
- If you get an xray, CT Scan or MRI ask for a copy of the disc which has all the films on it. This will allow your doctor to see them right away.
- If you get a prescription for medication, make sure you understand what it is for and what the potential side effects are.
- For prescriptions, make sure that your insurance allows for brand names rather than generics. There are big differences in prices.
- If you have surgery, doctors will tell you that recovery is 6 weeks. While this may be true for some, complete recovery can take longer than that.
*Bonus tip-It is ok to get a second opinion from another doctor.
At Frank Spector Law, we help people who have been injured by medical malpractice and personal injury. Call us at 1-800-299-HURT. You know us from TV and the internet.