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Steps patients can take to protect themselves from medical errors

As a patient, you expect that your doctors and other health professionals will provide you with the best care, and often, they do. However, errors or negligence are still possible and can have devastating impacts on your mental and physical health.

There are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself from medical malpractice.

Choose reputable doctors and facilities

To help make sure you receive the best possible care, research doctors or facilities before visiting them. You can use online reviews to identify red flags about a specific provider. For example, if multiple reviewers report that a doctor does not listen well or has made misdiagnoses, you may want to avoid seeing that health professional.

Speak up about concerns

Do not make the mistake that many patients do by failing to speak up when you have concerns about a diagnosis, treatment, or any other aspect of your care. Your doctor has a responsibility to listen to your worries and address them to the best of his or her abilities. In addition, do not be afraid to ask questions. Understanding as much as possible about your health is an important part of being an advocate for yourself.

Get a second opinion

If you have any doubts about your diagnosis or treatment, seek out the opinion of another health professional. A second opinion can either reduce your concerns or identify a possible misdiagnosis.

Even when you take steps to safeguard yourself, you might still find yourself a victim of medical malpractice. You may need to act quickly to protect your health and receive compensation.

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