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Does a difficult label reduce the quality of your medical care?

| Sep 18, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose

You may never know exactly what medical professionals in New York write in your medical charts, but you could reap the effects of what is written. If you get labeled as being difficult, it could greatly affect how you are treated and the level of care that you receive. According to Science Daily, a difficult patient often includes someone with disruptive behavior or alcohol or drug abuse issues or someone who is demanding, questions the doctor, acts helpless or doesn’t take doctors advice or follow instructions.

Studies have shown that patients who are thought to be difficult often do not get the same level of care. This can lead to medical errors because doctors often respond to such patients differently and may not listen as well to them or take them as seriously. In addition, the difficult behavior may distract the doctor from important facts or from doing job correctly. It may also make the doctor act in discriminatory ways.

You do not even have to have been labeled as difficult previously. Sometimes a professional who is treating you will apply the label due to your actions. Oftentimes, you are doing nothing wrong, but you are seen as disruptive because you are not just going along with what the doctor saying.  

Avoiding bias towards difficult patients can often be avoided if doctors use consultations and work with other doctors during your care. This gives a well-rounded look at what is really going on with your health and helps to ensure things are not overlooked. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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