When a doctor and a patient meet for an appointment, the conversation they have is quite important. It establishes what issues the patient is having and gives them a chance to explain their symptoms, tell the story of how the issues began or request certain types of treatment.
Unfortunately, studies have found that this conversation is usually very short, at least from the patient’s perspective. Doctors tend to jump in and interrupt their patients after a mere 11 seconds, on average. They don’t let patients talk and this can have an impact on the care that those patients get.
Why is it a problem?
This is an issue because a doctor may not get enough information to make a proper diagnosis. The patient may not be able to ask all of their questions or learn what type of care to seek. There could be miscommunication errors that cause the doctor to think the issue is something minor – like anxiety or heartburn – when it is really something serious – like a heart attack.
Why does it happen?
Doctors do understand that there can be ramifications if they don’t listen to their patients for long enough. But they may feel like they just don’t have time to focus on only one case. They have numerous appointments during the day, and they may already be behind. Simply by trying to meet everyone’s needs, the doctor is in a rush – but being in a rush also means that the patients that doctor does see may get substandard care.
When the level of care is not up to the expected standard in the medical industry and the patient suffers harm as a result, they may want to seek financial compensation on the grounds that they have experienced medical malpractice.