MEDICAL ERRORS 150 150 Dan Frith

Did you listen? The People’s Pharmacy, a weekly NPR feature had a great show on this week about medical errors. To listen, and or order a copy of the show, click here.

The show’s guests were Janet Lynn Mitchell, a patient’s right’s advocate and author of Taking A Stand. Her Web site is and Pierce Scranton, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Seattle, Washington. He has been team physician for the Seattle Seahawks and president of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. He is author of a novel, Death on the Learning Curve. His Web site is:

The Surgeon on the show gave a great top ten list for what to ask your physician before accepting medical treatment. Here it is – I thought it was very helpful:

Here are Dr. Scranton’s questions:
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Accepting Medical Treatment
1. How long have you been in practice?
2. What is your experience in treating this condition?
3. What are the treatment options, and what other options are available that you or the health plan are not offering?
4. If you don’t understand the doctor’s basic explanation of your condition and treatment, then by all means ask him or her for more information.
5. What are the possible complications of the proposed medical treatments or surgeries?
6. If there are any complications, how will you correct the problem?
7. Aside from your own partners, who would you go to for medical treatment if you had this condition?
8. Are you personally going to perform the surgery?
9. Will others assist and participate, in a major way, in this medical treatment?
10. Can I ask your bookkeeper what my financial responsibility will be?

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About the author

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at

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