Doctor and Patient Interaction After an Injury
Anytime injury strikes, whether personal or on the job, it can be overwhelming. Here is some advice highlighting doctor/patient interaction for injury clients of McCarron Law Firm.
When your doctor asks you how your injury is doing, it is important that you keep three things in mind:
- Do NOT just indicate to the doctor how you feel that instant. I recommend that you think about how your injury has been doing over the past two weeks to a month, or if it has been longer since the last time you saw a doctor over that entire time period. You can either then average out what your pain scale is or indicate that range of pain scales. Often times with orthopedic injuries, patients will have good days and bad days. If you happen to be having a good day that day, the doctor may report that you are "doing fine" or "doing great." It is important that the doctor understand how your injury is doing overall not just that instant.
- When you talk to the doctor, I generally do not recommend that you indicate to the doctor what you happened to be doing the last time you noticed pain. For example, if you tell the doctor, "I felt a lot of pain in my back last night while watching a movie," the doctor may write something down along the lines of, "injured back while watching movie last night." By and in large the doctor does not care what caused your injury – he is more concerned with what your injury is and how to treat it. Accordingly, doctors' offices often don't focus on accuracy when it comes to histories. However, these histories are very important for your legal case. If what you happen to be doing when you noticed the pain has nothing to do with causing your pain, there is no reason to tell the doctor what that activity was.
- Greetings: When the doctor comes in and asks you how you are doing sometimes it is natural to think of that as a greeting and simply respond, "Doing fine, doing great; how are you?" I suspect that from time to time when I see, "Doing great" or "Doing fine" in the medical records, that this is what has occurred. Accordingly, simply be careful that when a doctor asks you how you are doing that you then go ahead and specifically address what your pain and other symptoms are for the last month or so.