As a society, we place great faith in what our doctors tell us. When people go to a doctor and ask what is wrong with them, they tend to believe what their doctors say.
A misdiagnosis, therefore, can have severe consequences. It could further harm the patient’s health, rob them of the chance to get better care, cheat them of the ability to overcome a critical condition or disease — and worse.
How big of an issue are medical misdiagnoses?
Reports suggest medical professionals misdiagnose the symptoms of around 12 million people each year. Between 40,000 and 80,000 of those patients die as a result of those mistakes.
Why do doctors misdiagnose conditions?
It might never be possible to eradicate all diagnosis errors. Yet many could easily be avoided. If you have suffered due to a misdiagnosis, here are some things to consider:
- Did the doctor seek a second opinion? No one excepts a physician to be an expert on everything. Yet, some are overconfident and refuse to ask for help from someone with more experience in a particular area. Others fail to carry out tests that could help them define your condition.
- Did they dedicate sufficient time and care to you? Sitting in the waiting room waiting for a doctor who shouts “Next” every five minutes should make a patient worry about the attention their condition will receive. Sticking to schedules must never take priority over giving patients the attention they need.
- Did they listen to you or ask you what you thought? As a patient, you may have had an idea of what was wrong with you. A doctor should take the time to hear you and find out about your medical history before they decide how to proceed with your care.
If you suffer due to a medical diagnosis error, it is crucial to understand how it happened. You may be able to hold the doctor responsible for their mistake. It’s wise to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.