It is your body, and it is your health. Doctors may be trained to diagnose and treat your medical condition, but that doesn't mean you don't have a say in the level of care you receive or who you receive it from. Too often, doctors keep information among themselves, expecting you to simply trust them with your life.
If you are undergoing tests for a medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition, you have every right to know everything about your condition, your prognosis and your treatment options. Unfortunately, too many doctors, clinics and hospitals make it difficult to get the information you need, when you need it.
DeLuca & Weizenbaum, Attorneys at Law, is recognized throughout Rhode Island for our commitment to holding the medical profession accountable to the highest levels of care. We are experienced at pursuing medical malpractice claims against primary care physicians, surgeons, hospitals and clinics that share responsibility for your health care. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated attorney, contact us today.
Some tips for getting information from your doctor:
- Preparing for diagnostic tests: If a doctor refers you to a diagnostic center for tests, you have the right to ask what the tests might reveal and when you can share in the results. Ask about the exact process, including side effects from the contrast dyes or other preparation steps. Many diagnostic tests are not covered by health insurance. Ask your doctor whether the test is covered under your policy and how knowing the results will affect your treatment.
- Test results: Your doctor is required to share diagnostic test results with you in a timely manner. When meeting to discuss the results, make sure you understand them in clear language and how they will affect your possible treatment options. You also have the right to ask for a second opinion. Your doctor should be willing to show you the film or chart and explain what you are looking at. Be aware that the test results won't necessarily mean that your doctor can immediately diagnose your condition. You have the right to take a copy of your test results with you when you leave the office.
- The diagnosis: Ask your doctor for a clear explanation of your diagnosis and treatment options. Make sure you understand what will be expected of you in the coming days, weeks and months. Again, you have the right to seek a second opinion, which your doctor should encourage you to do.
- The treatment: Some medical conditions are completely curable, while others will be permanent. Make sure your doctor doesn't leave you with false expectations. Ask what your medical condition will be like in six months, a year, even five years in the future, if you follow the prescribed treatment. There are no guarantees, of course, but you have the right to know what milestones to expect along the way.
- Medical records: It's your life. It's your health. You have every right to obtain copies of your medical records, without a prolonged fight with your doctor's office, clinic or hospital. Keep your records up to date and in a location in your house that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
At DeLuca & Weizenbaum, our attorneys believe in pursuing justice on behalf of people who have suffered injury because of sub-standard medical care on the part of a health care provider in Rhode Island.
From our offices in Providence, we represent victims of medical care that does not meet professional standards in communities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation. Contact us to learn more about how to get information from your doctor.