Many people are stunned to discover that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice can happen for various reasons, including failing to diagnose an illness or condition or misdiagnosis.

If you feel as though your physician doesn’t listen to you or take your concerns seriously during your visits, it could be harmful to your health. Here are four steps you can take at your next appointment to make sure your doctor is really listening:

1. Get straight to the point

Try not to waste any time telling your doctor about irrelevant information during your visit. You should say to them the reason for your visit, the symptoms you’re experiencing and when the symptoms began. Sticking to your chief complaint will help your physician to ask the right questions.

2. Focus on one concern at a time

A standard office visit at the doctor typically only lasts between five and 30 minutes. While you may have multiple health concerns, your doctor may not be able to dedicate enough time to your issues without keeping other patients waiting. Start with your primary concern and ask your doctor if they have time to discuss another issue afterward. If not, you can schedule a separate appointment.

3. Don’t embellish your language

Unfortunately, if it seems like you’re exaggerating or being dramatic, your doctor may not take your issues seriously. Physicians are more likely to listen to your concerns when you seem reasonable and level-headed.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up

If it seems like your doctor isn’t listening to your medical concerns, don’t be afraid to tell them so. Expressing that you’d like a more thorough examination or a second opinion can show your doctor it’s a significant concern to you.