Health Mandy Kloppers

How to Regain Trust in Your Doctors After a Misdiagnosis

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UK doctors are in an incredibly important position of trust but, what happens if that trust is betrayed? In this article, we’ll talk about how to regain confidence in your doctors after a misdiagnosis…

When we visit our GP or go to the hospital for treatment, the expectation is that we can trust our medical professionals to do the best job possible. When something goes wrong and that trust is betrayed, it can be devastating for all those involved. On top of this, many people are unaware that the time limit to make a claim against a doctor or hospital is just three years.

 

A misdiagnosis can cause a lot of anxiety and, in worst cases, can have severe implications for the patient. However, it is possible to slowly regain your trust with future healthcare professionals, and in this article, we’ll be sharing tips on how to regain confidence in your doctors after a misdiagnosis.

What is a Misdiagnosis?

 

This is the term used when a doctor or medical professional gets it wrong. For example, a doctor diagnoses you as having bronchitis when you actually have pneumonia. Another error may be a missed diagnosis whereby a doctor has simply failed to notice or identify an illness or condition during a consultation.

 

Tips to Regain Trust in Doctors After a Misdiagnosis

 

After either of these errors, it can be difficult to maintain trust in a doctor or hospital. In this section, we’ll share our advice on how to regain trust in your doctors after a misdiagnosis.

Request a Meeting

 

The first – and probably most important step is to gain an understanding of what went wrong in the case of a misdiagnosis. Request a meeting with your doctor and his or her superior and ask for a detailed explanation as to how the misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis occurred.

While this won’t, of course, undo the damage, it may give you a greater understanding of how the problem happened – and may reassure you that there was an actual reason, rather than simple negligence or incompetence.

Speak to a Therapist

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Many people are sceptical when it comes to therapy, but this serves a very real and very important purpose. A therapist can help you to sort through your feelings following a misdiagnosis which can often include anger, sadness and uncertainty regarding your future. When trust in a doctor has been betrayed, these feelings can often be overwhelming. It can therefore be really helpful to have somebody on hand to help you to understand them as well as, to help figure out which are useful and which are not.

 

In most cases, your GP will be able to point you in the direction of a good therapist but, if you prefer to do this independently, your local council’s website should have a directory of counsellors and therapists who may be able to help.

Acknowledgement and Apology

 

For many people, a major frustration after a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis is that they do not receive any form of apology from their doctor. In some cases, a doctor or healthcare professional will be advised by their legal representative to withhold an apology as this can be seen as an admission of guilt and may be used against them in court.

 

While this is understandable, it can feel like there is no closure for the patient. In this instance, it can be worth hiring a mediator who may be able to gain an apology from the doctor in question while protecting him or her from legal action. While not ideal, this can go some way to making the victim feel that there is an acknowledgement of their suffering.

Transparency

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After an error by your doctor, it’s completely natural to feel anxious about a continued relationship for fear that further mistakes may occur. Speak to your doctor about your concerns and make it clear that, for the relationship to continue, you will need increased access to your records and even notes in order to get a second opinion at any time should you find this necessary. If your doctor is committed to retaining you as a patient, he or she should be willing to work with you on this.

 

Traditionally, the doctor and the patient relationship has meant limited access to information for the patient and, while this is slowly changing, some doctors are still reluctant to share. If this is the case, it may be worth seeking the services of a legal professional.

Starting Again After Medical Negligence

 

After an error by a doctor or hospital, the first thing you need to do is to find out if you have a legal case to receive compensation. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you have a limited time to do this, so it’s important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible in order to find out if you have a case and if you wish to pursue legal action.

 

Whether or not you take legal action, it may be necessary to continue the relationship with the doctor – which means reestablishing trust. While this may be difficult, we’ve demonstrated in this article that it’s not impossible if you – and your doctor – are willing to work together to figure out what went wrong and formulate a plan to move forward together.

 

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on the law. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

 

Images:

Photo by National Cancer Institute from Unsplash

Photo by Christina from Unsplash

Photo by Jeshoots.com from Unsplash

 

 

 

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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