Skip to main content
Hablamos Espanol
мы говорим по русски

Patient Safety

Avoiding Medical Mistakes

Tip #1: Be prepared before you visit your doctor by having a list of symptoms written down so you don’t forget anything.

Tip #2: Before your doctor’s visit, make a list to bring of your medications, dosages and nutritional supplements to hand to your physician

Tip # 3: If you have a serious health condition, someone should go along to your doctor’s visit to be a second set of ears. This is especially important for persons with hearing challenges, or those hesitant to ask questions.

Tip #4: When you visit your doctor, tell them about specialist you are seeing and bring a list of their contact information for your chart.

Tip #5: Don’t assume your doctor will figure out what is wrong. While none of us likes to hear bad news, just because a doctor doesn’t find it, doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

Tip #6: Don’t be afraid to go for a second opinion, and don’t discuss what the first doctor said. You should learn what the initial second opinion is independently of the first opinion.

Tip #7: Make sure your doctor is listening to you. If you are being rushed, it may be time to find a new doctor.

Tip #8: Ask your doctor for a differential diagnosis which are the possibilities of what your symptoms can be related to.

Tip #9: Ask questions about diagnosis, treatment options, side effects of drugs, drug interactions.

Tip #10: Before choosing a doctor, consider reviewing websites to gain information about the physician. Here are four:

  • this is maintained by New York State Dept. of Health and provides information on doctor’s medical training and practice.
  • The NY Office of Professional Medical Conduct website has information on whether a doctor has been sanctioned or has limited privileges.
  • is a legal site showing if a doctor has been sued. Go into tabs “E-courts” and “Web Civil Supreme.” Put in a doctor’s name in as a defendant and cases against that physician will appear.
  • is similar to the site above.

If a doctor has a number of cases, you may want to find a different doctor. For the best ways to switch doctors, please see our blog on the subject, here

Download these tips here

The Proactive Patient's Guide to Quality Healthcare

What is Erb’s Palsy?