The patient-doctor relationship is one built on trust. The patient trusts the doctor for their expertise and their candid advice. This relationship can erode quickly if the patient believes the doctor failed to act in their best interest at any given moment.
In many instances, this collapse of trust comes in the form of a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor fails to recognize, or mischaracterizes, an ailment that is afflicting their patient.
In serious cases, a misdiagnosis can lead to injury or even death. Although infrequent, the problem is much more common than many suspect in both Queens and around the country.
In fact, approximately 12 million adults are misdiagnosed in the US every single year. Furthermore, not only is this a huge problem on the surface, the missed or mischaracterized condition was often serious or even life threatening. Some types of cancer are misdiagnosed at a rate of 44 percent with prostate, thyroid, and breast cancer being misdiagnosed at the highest rates.
How to avoid misdiagnosis
The best way to avoid a misdiagnosis is to get a second opinion. A second opinion creates a medical safety net of sorts, as it’s highly unlikely that a patient will be misdiagnosed by two different doctors. According to docpanel.com, “88 percent of patients that seek a second opinion leave with a refined or changed diagnosis.
Even with a second opinion, misdiagnoses do happen. A person who has suffered an injury because of a misdiagnosis should, first and foremost, prioritize their health and find treatment.
Additionally, it is important to know that they may also be able to file a claim against the physician that misdiagnosed them. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can analyze the merits of a case, offer honest advice, and help chart a path forward.