I tell folks all the time – “the goods sir, is that you don’t have a malpractice case because you will get better.”

Medical negligence cases aren’t fun. You don’t file them unless you are so damaged by a mistake, that you cannot recover.

I would like to prevent all medical malpractice if possible. So I often advocate ways that patients can help themselves, and in turn, help the doctor.

Going to a new doctor?
– bring a list of all medications
– bring a list of all other doctors
– tell the doctor every complaint – not just the ones you are there to see them about

Getting a new Medication?
– ask about side effects?
– ask to see literature on the medication?
– tell your other doctors about the new medication?
– have allergies – tell everyone including your pharmacist what you are allergic too..

Getting surgery?
– find out the risks?
– in patient or outpatient? If outpatient – find out who will be at the office in case of an emergency?
– find out what medications you may require after surgery?

I know your doctors may not have the time to compare your medications etc if they are in your chart – but if you come in with a list of questions, you will get answers..

ALSO – If you have serious health problems, keep notes. How did that medication make you feel? How did you respond? This way you can communicate exactly what happened when you do have 5 minutes of your doctor’s attention.

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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