How can you help yourself get the best care when you go to an emergency department? Elizabeth Tracey reports


 Missed diagnosis in the emergency department aren’t common, but they do happen more often than we’d like, a recent federal study led by David Newman-Toker at Johns Hopkins has found. Newman-Toker says there are things you can do to help your physician in the ED.

Newman-Toker: Here is something very specific you need to ask your physician when you’re being assessed. The question is what’s the worst thing it could be and why isn’t it that thing? What you’re looking for is an answer to that question that sounds like somebody has really thought about it and they understand it. what you really want is somebody to say, look, I know you have this headache, it’s not a brain aneurysm for the following three reasons: brain aneurysms start suddenly, your headache began gradually. Brain aneurysms typically happen to people who have the following risk factors, you have none of those. Those are the kinds of answers you’re looking for.  :33

Newman-Toker says most physicians welcome such questions as they demonstrate a person’s involvement in their own care. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.