Mean to Your Doctor? They May Mess Up Your Diagnosis
We all have our bad days, and sometimes it might be tempting to take out our frustrations on other people, such as Starbucks baristas or waiters. However, pulling this stunt with your doctor could lead to critical consequences.
Two studies conducted by researchers at the Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam suggest being mean to your doctor can increase the risk of misdiagnosis.
In the first study, researchers used 63 family doctors and asked them to recreate scenarios where patients were being difficult or noncompliant (as in ignoring doctors or being too demanding).
Nicer patients were compliant and listened to what their doctors had to say. Disrespectful or aggressive patients were more likely to cause negative emotional reactions for their doctors. These upset doctors made 42 percent more medical mistakes while diagnosing patients.
In the second study, researchers used 74 resident doctors and recreated similar scenarios with difficult patients. Resident doctors treating difficult patients with semi-complex cases made 20 percent more medical mistakes. Both studies are bad news for the 15 percent of all patients described as “difficult and aggressive”.
Diagnostic Errors in Medicine Are a Threat to Patient Safety
So what does this mean for patients? Any time diagnostic errors in medicine occur, patients can be injured or killed. For example, misdiagnosing a severe migraine that turns out to be bacterial meningitis.
Being mean to the person making your caramel latte may mean more saliva in your coffee. Giving your doctor attitude could result in permanent disability or death. While medical mistakes are inexcusable, it is never a good idea to intentionally upset people you depend on to treat medical conditions. We are not saying patients are to blame for medical mistakes, but to be mindful that attitude and quality care have been linked by research.
The Tampa Bay medical malpractice lawyers at Shapiro Law Group have spent decades representing people hurt by hospital negligence.