“Since I got hurt, I’m either at the doctor’s office, or spending all my time and money getting prescribed treatment, do you have any advice on how to deal with the frustrations I am experiencing?”
Hi, I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana. Welcome to our podcast … Personal Injury Primer… where we work to make the law understandable, provide legal tips, and in general discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from (a listener) who is frustrated with all the medical treatment that comes with trying to undue the physical harm and emotional harm that flows from an injury, and is seeking legal advice on the subject.
There is no question that an injury event will in many respects turn your life upside down.
Where you before would see your doctor once a year for an annual physical, now you find yourself at the doctor’s office multiple times a month, driving to and from the doctor’s office, going to imaging centers for tests, going to physical therapy, getting scheduled for surgery … the list goes on and on.
It’s all very frustrating. We get it. Although there are no statistical studies to back up the following advice, we have watched our many clients deal with these frustrations over the years and here are our observations.
First, if you’re satisfied with your doctor, and think they are providing you sound advice, following that advice is the best medicine. If you don’t trust your current doctor, seek out one you feel you can trust.
Second, we have found that people who work hard to communicate well with their doctors about what they’re feeling, their pain levels, and their progress on the road to recovery, do the best.
Third, we also have found that treating your doctor with respect, and all of his or her staff members with respect, can really help get the most out of medical care.
People who provide medical care for the most part genuinely want to help those who they have the ability to help.
Nothing makes a doctor or therapist more frustrated than to have a patient that fails to show up on time, or misses appointments completely without explanation, or just simply refuses to follow the doctor’s instructions.
Physicians are people too. If they do you a favor and get you in for an early appointment. Thank them. If one of their staff members goes out of their way to reschedule you. Thank them.
Fourth, we find from reading so many medical records, especially those from therapist who are unhappy because the patient failed to show up for visit, that medical providers can become angry with patients. For example, if a therapist has set aside 1 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon to help a patient, and that patient is a no show for the appointment, not only does it affect that therapist pocketbook, it means the therapist couldn’t help somebody else in that same time slot who might very much need to be helped, but had to be turned away.
Lastly, we have found that people tend to get the most out of their medical providers when they are as accurate as they can be about their symptoms and how they’re feeling.
Those who downplay their pain in a very stoic manner really do not do themselves a service, because care providers need to know precisely how a person is feeling.
If you’re feeling level V pain, but report level II pain, you’re not being accurate.
Likewise, if you report level IX pain, when you’re really feeling level V pain, you’re not being accurate.
Doctors have tests that they can administer to determine if a patient is exaggerating, and if they believe a patient is exaggerating, it changes their entire attitude towards the patient. So being accurate is important in order to get the best care, and to recover as quickly as possible from an injury.
We hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”. Have a fantastic day.