It is very frustrating for patients to deal with a doctor who does not listen, is condescending, or just treats you like a number instead of a person. Unfortunately, for most patients under insurance restrictions, they may not have other options. A doctor with a bad bedside manner does not inspire confidence but that may not be considered malpractice. However, a bad bedside manner could point to other errors or negligence that give rise to medical malpractice.
When the Doctor Doesn't Listen
One of the most common frustrations with the current healthcare system involves doctors who just do not listen to their patients. Many of us have been in a situation where we feel like the doctor is “multitasking” or already has an answer without even listening to our concerns. Doctors may also say things that are sexist, racist, or just plain clueless without giving it a second thought.
In a perfect world, a patient could say, “my doctor is disrespectful, inattentive, rude, and does not listen to me. I want a new doctor.” Unfortunately, the insurance company may limit your options. This leads to many patients going forward with medical care under the supervision of a doctor with whom they do not have much confidence. A bad bedside manner may not be a cause for medical malpractice. However, a bad bedside manner could be a warning for malpractice to come.
Doctors Don't Talk to Patients Anymore
A New York Times Article, To Be Sued Less, Doctors Should Consider Talking to Patients More, sums up the experience of a lot of patients. According to the article, “Decades-old studies have shown that primary care physicians sued less often are those more likely to spend time educating patients about their care, more likely to use humor and laugh with their patients and more likely to try to get their patients to talk and express their opinions.”
One of the misconceptions is that doctors are too scared of getting sued to talk to patients. The reality shows the opposite is true. Patients are less likely to sue doctors who engage with them on a human-to-human level. Ordering more tests and sending patients on a quest for tests and appointments does not insulate the doctor from providing negligent care. Instead, it may frustrate the patient who only wants a straight answer and direct response from a medical professional.
Study of Physician Bad Behavior
A study in 1993 looked at physician communication and perceived bad medical outcomes. The study involved 160 adults a viewing video of a doctor treating a patient while using positive or negative communication behavior. Results of the study showed that negative communication behaviors increased the likelihood of initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit. This could suggest that doctors with a bad bedside manner are more likely to elicit a lawsuit if their care causes an injury or accident.
Medical Compensation After Poor Medical Care
A bad doctor is a bad doctor. You should not feel responsible after a bad doctor caused you to suffer an unnecessary injury or accident. Doctors should be held accountable for their mistakes, just like anyone else. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian fight to get compensation for injured patients and their families. Contact our law office online or by calling (800) 529-6162.