When you go to a doctor to discuss a medical issue, you expect that they will listen to you and then use their knowledge to determine the likely cause of your symptoms. From there, they can advise you on how to treat those symptoms. Unfortunately, many doctors see far too many patients every day and don’t have the time to fully focus on each person they see, leading to acts of medical neglect or malpractice.

When the doctor walks in with an assumption about what might cause your symptoms and then tunes you out as you explain something important, that could lead to them diagnosing you improperly or failing to diagnose you at all. A missed diagnosis could mean a much worse prognosis, which is why it is a common reason for medical malpractice claims.

Your doctor probably won’t even listen to you for a quarter of a minute

When you arrive at your appointment, you probably end up waiting so long after the scheduled time. Even once you get taken back to the exam room, you will likely wind up waiting again. After all of that time intended to get you access to a physician’s intelligence, they typically can only spare 11 seconds of listening time when you start talking about your symptoms and experiences.

Rushing through an exam or conversation could mean not getting the full story from a patient and overlooking symptoms that could alter the diagnosis. A physician should encourage patients to report in full how they’ve experienced symptoms and the impact a medical condition has had on their life.

By tuning you out instead of leaning in, your physician puts you at risk of a misdiagnosis, a mistake that could lead to a worse medical prognosis for you, the patient.