Let’s be clear: Your doctor should always be focused on you when you come in for an appointment. It is no more your job to make sure they don’t get distracted than it is your job to make a diagnosis before you get to the office.

That said, you do need to understand that doctors sometimes struggle to stay focused. They get very busy and may be thinking about multiple cases at once. They get distracted by phones and technology just like everyone else. They may even start to daydream, which is the brain’s default mode.

If this happens, what can you do? One option is to ask questions. You can even ask a question that you know the answer to. Just putting the doctor on the spot helps them refocus.

You also want to keep these questions very specific. Make sure it’s something the doctor can answer directly and that it’s important to the visit. Get the doctor thinking about your health and providing specific information.

Another thing to do is to make your condition or symptoms sound as serious as you can. Let the doctor see that you’re concerned, and they will seek to ease that concern.

Of course, if none of this works, don’t worry about being subtle. You have too much at stake. Just directly tell the doctor that you don’t think they’re focused on the appointment, and it concerns you.

After all, one of the reasons for mistakes in a medical setting is when the doctor gets distracted. These mistakes can have serious ramifications. If it happens to you, you need to know your legal options.