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Doctor's Orders: Inside Advice For Safe Care, Part 3

Wrapping up our three-part series on expert advice for getting the most out of a medical appointment (and preventing medical mistakes to the extent possible), here are two final recommendations from healthcare experts.

5. Medical care is often complicated and doctors might take some level of knowledge for granted. Patients should feel free to take the time to clarify something that doesn't make sense-it could help the doctor reevaluate a decision or discover a serious mistake. Doctors are only human and a communication disconnect can indicate something significant. 

6. Consider the best way to stay in touch with a doctor. Sometimes, patients need to ask follow-up questions and it is important to have a reliable way to keep lines of communication as open as possible.

One final reminder is likely not something patients would hear from a healthcare industry insider. Doctors and medical professionals have responsibilities to their patients. When they fail to live up to these obligations, patients are entitled to hold them accountable for the costs of a medical malpractice-related injury.

Source: CNN Health, "What doctors don't tell you (but should!)" Dr. Danielle Ofri, June 10, 2013

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