When people think about a medical malpractice issues, they often remember horror stories they have heard in the news where a patient had an instrument or other material left inside of them during surgery. Although these instances of medical malpractice get far more attention, misdiagnosis, and delayed or incorrect diagnoses happen far more frequently and might be just as detrimental to a patient’s health.
Frequently, when a person believes that they are suffering from some sort of medical issue, they might do a little research on their own, and wait a week to see if the problem resolves itself. When a person goes to the doctor there might be true concern that there is something wrong.
If a person is told that their medical problem is minor, or the doctor can’t diagnose it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem will go away or is nothing to worry about. Sometimes it might be wise to seek a second opinion. However, many people trust that their doctors understand their medical history and are thorough in their tests, so they might simply believe the doctor and try to make accommodations for pain or discomfort.
If a person finds out later that what they thought was just a nuisance was actually a major medical problem, their health might have already rapidly deteriorated. This might end up resulting in more invasive surgeries than might have been necessary with an earlier diagnosis, and can cost a patient much more money if their insurance doesn’t cover the costs.
Source: AARP Blog, “Doctors’ Errors: They Happen More Than You Think (And Can Hurt You),” Sandra G. Boodman, May 7, 2013