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How Common Is Medical Misdiagnosis?

  • On Behalf Of Colton Holm
  • Published: October 11, 2017

When you visit your Montana doctor, you probably have faith that he or she will be able to assess your condition accurately, and then recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Given just how many conditions and diseases exist in comparison to how many different symptoms patients experience, however, nailing down an exact diagnosis is not something all doctors can do all the time.

In fact, medical misdiagnosis is alarmingly common in the United States, per The Washington Post, which reports that more than 20 percent of all patients who receive serious medical diagnoses are victims of misdiagnosis. Furthermore, many believe that incidents of misdiagnosis are under-reported, with the National Academy of Medicine reporting that most patients will receive the wrong diagnosis, or the correct diagnosis, but late, at some point during their lifetime.

Per one study, errors involving diagnosing patients are to blame for about 10 percent of patient deaths, with part of the problem stemming from the fact that there are roughly 10,000 conditions out there and only 200 or 300 symptoms physicians can use to determine yours. Also raising concerns is that fact that, in one study, in more than 20 cases where misdiagnoses occurred, the patient’s actual condition was markedly different than the condition the patient was initially told he or she had. Given the high frequency at which physicians make inaccurate medical diagnoses, it may prove wise for you to seek a second opinion, if at any time you question or otherwise feel uneasy about your initial medical diagnosis.

This information about the prevalence of medical misdiagnosis is informative, but it should not replace legal advice.

Colton Holm

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