When you go to the doctor, you expect them to properly evaluate you and your condition to give you an accurate and timely diagnosis. Yet, all too often doctors make mistakes that leave innocent patients like you with a worsened and untreated medical condition.
In fact, one recent study found that nearly 800,000 Americans are disabled or killed on account of this type of medical malpractice each year, as in the worst cases, it allows a serious disease to progress unchecked, thereby rendering it incurable and even fatal.
Why does misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis occur?
Unfortunately, there can be several factors that contribute to diagnostic errors. Here are some of the most common:
- Failing to order appropriate testing
- Improperly administering tests
- Misinterpreting test results
- Procrastination in administering a test or interpreting test results
- Not spending enough time with a patient to gain the information necessary for a proper diagnosis
- Lack of training and education
- Failure to follow up with patients to identify new symptoms that could assist with test result interpretation
Nowadays, doctors are overloaded with patients. This means that all too often they move too quickly to provide the care that their patients deserve. This often leads to inattentiveness, distraction, and knowledge gaps that cause diagnostic errors.
What can you do to protect yourself?
To reduce the risk of being subjected to a diagnostic error, be sure to ask your doctor any and all questions that you have. Don’t be concerned about taking up too much of their time. After all, you’re paying them to treat you.
Also, don’t hesitate to follow up with your doctor if your symptoms change or worsen. This will ensure that your doctor is fully informed about your condition and can adequately assess your diagnosis.
Take legal action if you’ve been harmed by medical malpractice
If you’ve already been negatively impacted by medical malpractice, then you should consider taking legal action. A medical malpractice claim may be the only way for you to obtain the compensation that you need to offset your damages and secure accountability. So, act now to protect your rights and your future.