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Is your doctor in a rush? Maybe you should worry

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Does medical care seem more expensive but increasingly less personable nowadays? If so, then you’re not alone in your thoughts. Prices associated with medical care in the U.S. are notoriously high, and doctors are spending less and less time with their patients. 

You might expect the increase in pricing for health care to mean that doctors are becoming better at diagnosing patients and employing cutting-edge treatments. While that’s certainly happening, on the flip side of the coin, many medical care facilities are for-profit entities, meaning the doctors it hires must see fit more patients into their schedules on a daily basis to be able to command higher salaries. That’s The latter factor is likely responsible, in part, for many patients’ misdiagnoses. 

Why might doctors reach incorrect diagnoses?

A study published in the 2018 Canadian Medical Association Journal found that only 33% of doctors inquire about a patient’s reasoning for wanting a doctor’s opinion in the first place. The researchers also discovered that even if doctors ask, they tend to interrupt their patients within 11 seconds of them speaking. 

Another study published in 2019 suggested that U.S. doctors spend, on average, between 17-24 minutes seeing a patient. That same study shows that those same physicians often spent half that time doing data entry tasks — indicating that the technical aspects of the job may take up a good chunk of what could be actual patient care.

As you likely can tell from these statistics, doctors ultimately spend very little time interacting with patients about their symptoms, which can lead to difficulty honing in on the right diagnosis, ordering the wrong diagnostic tests and prescribing incorrect medication.

If your doctor rushed through your office visit and that resulted in a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, you may need to learn more about how medical malpractice claims work.