Six top causes of medical misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

A medical misdiagnosis can be devastating to you and your family. It can cause an existing condition to worsen, leading to more harm than it otherwise would, and in some instances, the condition may advance to the point that it’s fatal. The severity of these mishaps can leave families reeling, struggling to find a way to cope with the physical, emotional and financial harm that they have endured. And these medical errors are more common than most people realize.

If you’re in a position in which you’ve been affected by a misdiagnosis, you might be asking why this happened to you. It’s an important question to answer, especially since that’ll be a key component of a medical malpractice lawsuit. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common ways that medical misdiagnoses occur.

  1. Inexperience: Although we hope that all medical professionals have the qualifications to provide adequate care, sometimes that just isn’t the case. If you end up stuck with a medical professional who is inexperienced in diagnosing and treating the condition that you’ve been subject to, you might end up being misdiagnosed or your condition might be missed altogether.
  2. Overconfidence: A lot of doctors take pride in their expertise and knowledge. As a result, when they come to a conclusion, it can be hard for them to admit that they’re wrong. In the context of diagnosing a medical condition, this can be dangerous. That’s why it’s important to get multiple opinions and ask questions that are aimed at their reasoning behind their diagnosis.
  3. Fragmented care: In today’s world, it’s common to see multiple medical professionals. While this allows you to see doctors who are specialists in particular areas, it also fragments your care. This means that there can be miscommunications, misunderstandings, and gaps in information. Any of these can lead to a diagnostic error that leaves you in a worse position.
  4. Lack of attention: Doctors have a lot of patients. As a result, they tend to spend only 10 to 15 minutes during a routine appointment. This gives the patient little time to explain their concerns and for the doctor to address them. As a result, key facts that could lead to an accurate diagnosis can be missed. Making matters worse is the fact that this cycle may start over again if you change medical providers.
  5. Improper testing: An accurate diagnosis typically only follows after appropriate testing has been ordered and test results have been properly interpreted. But in far too many instances, doctors don’t rely on these tests or don’t order the right tests, which can leave your true medical condition undetected.
  6. Poor follow-up: Nowadays, doctors rarely follow up with patients to see how they’re doing to gauge any important changes. Instead, most medical professionals just tell patients to contact them if things change or an identified symptom gets worse. But patients are bad judges of these matters, which means that a diagnosis can be missed, leading to irreparable harm to the patient.

None of these reasons for a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis are acceptable. To find accountability, you’ll probably have to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. This can be a stressful, complicated and time-consuming endeavor, but it’s one that you’ll have to navigate if you want to recover compensation for the harm that you experienced.

Advice from an experienced medical misdiagnosis attorney

Fortunately, this isn’t something that you have to handle on your own. Teams of experienced medical malpractice professionals stand ready to help you investigate your situation to identify the cause of your harm and gather evidence to support your claim. If you think that you can benefit from that type of guidance, now is the time to consider reaching out for help.


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