When you go to see a doctor in New York, you likely expect that he or she will take you seriously and look at your symptoms to come to a diagnosis. However, if you become a victim of patient profiling, your symptoms and the results of testing or exams may not even play into the diagnosis the doctor gives you. This is what makes it such a dangerous thing.
According to MedPage Today, patient profiling is when a doctor or other medical professional determines may have an illness or behavior because of how you look, your age, race, or other visual or behavioral characteristics alone. A good example is a doctor determining you are addicted to pain medications because you have a history of seeking treatment for pain. While many times, this leads to an incorrect diagnosis or a doctor missing something that is really wrong, it can also lead to a doctor treating you better because of characteristics. For example, if you are a very attractive person, a doctor may give you pain medications even if you condition really does not require them simply because you asked for them.
Insurance status also can be part of profiling. People who do not have insurance often find they get minimal treatment or are treated much differently than those who do have insurance. The medical choices, such as not getting specific types of care, can also lead to profiling issues. For example, if you choose not to vaccinate your children, a doctor may treat you differently.
Profiling can cause improper care and may lead patients to not trust doctors. It is something you should watch for in your own interactions with medical professionals. This information is for education an dis not legal advice.