We have been working in this area for more than 7 years and to us this is by far the biggest thing we have come up with in that time, for us, and we believe for our readers. And it’s this.
When you’ve seen a doctor for anything important, (presumably not for coughs and colds and so on,) when you get home, send them a letter outlining your recollection of everything you’ve been told in your consultation, particularly anything about risks that may be involved in any treatments they’ve suggested, and asking them to confirm that you’ve got everything right.
AND, if they don’t reply, just don’t use them! – find someone else.
We’re always saying how you should give preference to those doctors who have an ordinary email address, and if they have one, it’s easy , but send it anyway – if they have an email form, use that, but if you have to fax it, or post it, or hand deliver it, send it.
If you’ve got everything right, it will take them no time at all to send you back a “Yes.” And if you’ve misunderstood anything, getting that clarified will be valuable in itself.
But almost certainly, if they won’t do either of these things, they are not the doctor for you, OR, if anything goes wrong, your position will be a hundred times stronger to get redress, either from the doctor or through the legal system.
Believe us, we have learnt this the hard way. We believe that if we’d done what we’re recommending here, we would be unbelievably better off.