How long do you think your doctor should listen to you during an appointment? Your answer is probably something along the lines of “As long as it takes!” You set up the appointment to tell the doctor what ailment you’re dealing with, and you expect them to listen long enough to make an appropriate diagnosis.
But what will actually happen is that your doctor is probably going to interrupt you. Studies have found that most doctors don’t listen beyond 11 seconds, on average. So if you can’t give the doctor all of the necessary information in the first 10 or 11 seconds, you may have missed your chance.
Why is this a problem?
Some patients certainly find this frustrating, but it’s more than a minor issue. It can be a very significant problem because it could lead to a misdiagnosis. If the doctor allowed you to talk for even a minute or two, they may have had more information to make the proper diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment. But if they jumped in after 11 seconds, they could be missing key information that leads to a mistake.
Part of the issue is that doctors are just in a hurry. A doctor who is already running behind and knows they have two or three patients waiting is probably going to try to rush through their appointments. While this scheduling pressure is understandable, it’s important for doctors not to be negligent and to give all patients the level of care that they actually deserve.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a doctor’s negligence, then you need to know what legal steps to take.