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Why is misdiagnosis common?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

When a doctor provides you with a diagnosis and treatment, you expect the highest quality of care. Unfortunately, doctors do not always provide to the standard of other physicians. When a doctor happens to be wrong about a diagnosis, it can turn your life upside down.

According to Healthline, misdiagnosis affects about 12 million people every year.

What constitutes misdiagnosis?

Not all medical errors are malpractice or misdiagnosis. After all, many conditions have similar symptoms. As long as the doctor does all of the appropriate tests and looks into the condition according to the standards of his or her field, it is not malpractice.

However, say that you went to the doctor with shortness of breath and instead of looking deep into the condition, your doctor diagnoses you with allergies and sends you on your way with an inhaler. Shortness of breath can also be a symptom of heart failure. The time it takes for you to receive the correct diagnosis could be devastating.

How does misdiagnosis happen?

Some physicians rush through their appointments. When doctors use teamwork, ask in-depth questions of their patients and work with the patients and their families to find answers, they tend to have more accuracy in the diagnosis. The system does not always reward doctors who improve their diagnosis or provide education to help medical staff learn from their mistakes. Doctors may not have a solid reporting or liability system.

Medical misdiagnosis tends to be a systematic issue rather than a single issue. To fix the problem, you have to analyze the healthcare system.

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