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Are Diagnosis Errors More Common Than We Think?

According to a study recently released by medical experts, almost every American will be misdiagnosed at least once in their lives. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to some. While much research has been done regarding medication errors and surgical mistakes, reports state that misdiagnoses have been understudied for quite some time. To examine the frequency of misdiagnoses, the Institute of Medicine generated a new report. The findings, listed below, were shocking.

  • Nearly 12 million adult Americans suffer negative effects caused by misdiagnoses.
  • Misdiagnoses are far more common than other healthcare inaccuracies, such as medication errors and wrong-site surgery errors.
  • Technology may be a contributing factor to misdiagnoses.

The committee that released the study predicts that these errors will only worsen and become more frequent as the diagnostic process and health care delivery becomes more complicated.

What Can I Do to Ensure My Diagnoses Are Correct?

For these reasons, it is important for patients to take the necessary steps to ensure they are receiving the most accurate diagnoses possible.

Be Clear About Your Symptoms

  • When explaining to a doctor how you feel, it is important to explain any details you can recall. Although some symptoms may seem minor, they can be extremely important for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. Similarly, it is important to disclose any information about past symptoms you may have suffered.

Remember and Explain Any Previous Treatments

  • It is crucial to explain any treatments you have undergone and the reasons for those treatments. Also, explain to the physician whether or not those treatments helped, made your illness worse, or did nothing. These facts may be key to an accurate diagnosis.

Keep Personal Records of All Healthcare Office Visitations

  • Always keep a personal record of any doctor visits, medication prescriptions, and test results. While you may not think these factors are important to a current diagnosis, a physician may be able to use these facts to diagnose you correctly.

Ask Questions

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Remember, it is your body, and you have every right to understand what the doctor predicts or knows about your body and any illnesses. Some questions you may want to consider asking include:
    • What could be causing these symptoms or problems?
    • What are some other possibilities?
    • When should I receive my test results?
    • What do I do once I receive these results?

The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates Can Help

The Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates understand the hardships that occur when a person has been misdiagnosed. That is why we are here for you. When you choose to work with our team, we can examine your case and determine whether you are eligible to recover compensation for any medical expenses, physical harms, emotional distresses, and lost wages.

If you have been misdiagnosed and have suffered negative side effects as a result, do not hesitate to call our firm today. We are dedicated to serving our clients with the utmost respect and can deliver aggressive representation for you.