6 Steps to Help Your Doctor Make the Right Diagnosis

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on March 5, 2014

A misdiagnosis or an untimely diagnosis can delay treatment and possibly make a patient’s condition much worse. This is particularly true in the case of cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. When there is delayed or incorrect cancer diagnosis, patients lose valuable time that could affect their prognosis or ultimate outcome. In some cases, the correct timely diagnosis can make the difference between life and death.

There are several steps you as a patient can take to assist healthcare providers:

  1. Write down your symptoms. Forgetting to mention a symptom may affect your diagnosis. Write down all of your ailments before your appointment. It is advisable to sit down a couple of times before your appointment and write down exactly what you want to discuss with your doctor.
  2. Make notes of what your doctor tells you. Bring a pad and pen to your appointment so you can document exactly what a healthcare provider tells you about your condition and proposed testing and/or treatment. You can even request a copy of your doctor’s notes if he or she keeps digital records.
  3. Know your medical history. You should inform your doctor of not only your medical history, but also the history of your immediate family.
  4. Bring in your medications. It is important to take the right dosage of the right medication. You doctor can review your medications and evaluate how they are related to your current symptoms.
  5. Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor questions. Inquire about what information your doctor needs, how you can help and what you can expect. Ask if you should set up a follow-up appointment or if you should see a specialist.
  6. Do not hesitate to get a second or even third opinion. It’s your body and your health. You know best.

If you have suffered adverse health effects as the result of a wrong diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose cancer, please contact the experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Blume Forte to discuss your potential claim at absolutely no cost.

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