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Save Yourself From Unnecessary Harassment From Patients

Every dentist works to the best of his/her ability to give the best services to their patients. Even after being a sincere, hardworking, and an honest dentist you may sometimes due to extraneous factors, or factors beyond your control; face unnecessary harassment from your patients.

The first and foremost thing is document your case properly. Follow the procedure of history taking, examination, investigation, diagnosis with differential diagnosis and treatment plan w.r.t. each of the differential diagnosis and the advantages and disadvantages. You may prepare a standard format of instructions and give a copy to your patients. You may give specific instructions pertaining to each patient not covered in the standard instructions. Most important is that you always take an acknowledgement from your patients that you have given them the instructions including your prescriptions and standard instructions and the various treatment plans and the plan chosen by your patient. You should be honest and give reasonable expectations of the outcome of the treatment. If needed take help of your colleagues or refer your patients for a second opinion. If you trust your colleague he will genuinely help you. Do not doubt the credentials of your colleague. Patients are also humans, as dentists you have studied and mastered this art and science throughout your adult life, but patients do not understand the intricacy of the same. It is your duty to explain the patient about the same. But, do not fear if you have given your 100% for the patient.

After having done all which was within your purview; do not fear the unnecessary threatening; if any arises. The law is very clear in India. The onus to prove malpractice or negligence is on the patient. Your documents will help you defend your case. You must be sincere and always think in the interest of your patient. Litigation must be the last resort; but if things have to be that way; be prepared. This will help you prevent the stress and allow you to function normally. Most of the cases of negligence filed in India go in favour of dentists; but nowadays the courts are more liberal in awarding compensation to patients. But, you can be rest assured; the legal persons who judge you are very competent and understanding. You have all the remedies. You may consult a legal expert for further guidance or share your concerns with your colleague/s who can be of help to you.

IIDR

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