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Why do doctors interrupt patients?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

There have been some concerning studies about doctors listening to their patients. These studies have found that doctors actually tend to interrupt those patients, instead of listening while they describe their symptoms and concerns. For example, one study found that doctors would only listen for an average of 11 seconds before interrupting.

In many cases, this is not nearly enough time for the patient to give the doctor enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. This can lead to issues with a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, and it could be medical malpractice. Doctors have a duty of care to their patients and they should not be negligent by ignoring them, talking over them, interrupting them or failing to listen to their symptoms. So why does it happen anyway?

Doctors are busy

Often, doctors are just very busy. They have to rush from one appointment to the next. A doctor may interrupt a patient in an effort to hurry the conversation along.

Doctors make assumptions

In other cases, a doctor may hear a few details and make a quick assumption about what they think is happening. But they will then start talking to the patient about this hypothetical condition – even though the patient hasn’t finished telling their side of the story and it may be an entirely inaccurate assessment.

Patients are not prepared

One of the best ways that you can prevent this from happening is to prepare in advance. Make a list of questions you want to ask or symptoms you want to mention. Bring someone else with you who can help keep the appointment on track. Preparing in advance can help communication with your medical team.

Unfortunately, mistakes are still possible. If you believe you’ve been victimized by medical malpractice, you need to know what legal options you have.