Patients are their own best advocates at their doctors’ offices

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Illness and injury can disrupt the lives of Texas residents. When health problems affect the ways that individuals engage with others, do their jobs and live their lives, they may turn to their doctors for help getting themselves back on track. In many situations, a doctor will adequately determine the cause of their patient’s ailment and offer them a course of treatment that provides them with healing and relief. From time to time, however, doctors ignore the information that their patients provide and leave them with missed or wrong diagnoses.

While doctors are supposed to be medical experts, patients should know that they have rights when it comes to getting medical care. They can speak up for themselves and advocate for their own healthcare needs. When their requests are ignored they can find other medical professionals who are more responsive to their concerns.

Patients have the right to be informed about their treatment options and cannot be forced into any treatment path that they do not want. They may leave medical health facilities on their own even if their doctors do not recommend such actions, and they may expect that their health care records will be kept confidential.

Perhaps most importantly, patients can be self-advocates for their own health. They may take notes about their conditions and give those notes to their doctors. Patients know how their own bodies feel and therefore should be listened to when they require medical assistance. The failure of a doctor to listen to their patient may result in the failure of that medical professional to secure a proper diagnosis and to provide their patient with the care they require.