Don’t Hesitate to Question Your Physician/Nurse Practitioner

They’re smart.  They’re experienced. They’re compassionate.  They’re dedicated medical professionals. They’re people with years of training with one goal in mind: To maintain the health of their patients or return them to the best health possible.  There’s only one small problem. Just like us, they’re human.

Sometimes, they make mistakes.  Maybe they need to leave their office to pick up their kids and misread a report   It’s possible they calculated a dose incorrectly because they’ve got a waiting room full of patients and they’re feeling rushed.  Maybe it’s simply Friday afternoon.  It’s been a long week, she’s tired and not at her best.

Where does all of the above leave you?  Briefly, it places you squarely, as your very own healthcare advocate.  If you’ve been an attentive participant in your healthcare, you can confidently question and hopefully correct mistakes.  Don’t hesitate to speak up, to inquire and discuss your concerns.

That’s what I did when I got a rushed, incorrect interpretation of a diagnostic exam over the phone by a nurse.  What did I do?  I asked for a fax of the report, went back to my file, checked on the results of the previous report and called the office back to express my doubts about the accuracy of the report.  Very shortly thereafter, the doctor (an extremely competent one) called and apologized.  She said it was a very busy day after a long holiday weekend and she misread the report.  It happens. They’re only human. It’s not unusual.

If there comes a time when you begin to doubt the accuracy of medical information information you’ve received,  don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself.  You truly are your own best friend when you act as an effective, informed partner in your healthcare.  Trust yourself.  Ask questions.  It’s your health we’re talking about here.  What could be more important than that.

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