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Key questions California residents need to ask doctors

Even though most doctors may not actually lie to their patients, some of them may not always be completely straightforward about issues that could be damaging to their patients' health. Among the most commonly avoided topics, according to a diagnostic radiologist, are the increased likelihood of complications with elective surgeries performed at certain times on certain days and diagnostic errors in primary care settings.

When someone is in need of emergency surgery, they should not put it off. However, elective surgeries are more likely to have complications, which can sometimes be ultimately fatal, when they take place on Friday or in the afternoon. This isn't something that a physician is likely to bring up, but people should be aware of the increased risks when they are setting up a date for an elective procedure.

Another common issue is when primary care physicians take diagnostic shortcuts that lead to a misdiagnosis. Studies show that one in every 20 visits to one's primary care physician results in a misdiagnosis. If someone feels that their doctor is not paying enough attention to their symptoms or drawing the wrong conclusions, it may be a good idea to ask what improvements in their condition will look like and a time frame so they can be sure that the diagnosis and prescribed treatment are accurate.

If doctors or medical facilities are taking shortcuts with a patient's care or not being entirely upfront, it can lead to problems and the worsening or development of medical conditions. When someone feels that medical negligence or malpractice may have caused them harm, a medical malpractice attorney could evaluate their case and help them in understanding their options for pursuing legal action.

Source: Care2, " 5 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You Unless You Ask", Ann Pietrangelo, August 04, 2014

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