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The Misdiagnosis Epidemic: What You Need to Know

The Misdiagnosis Epidemic: What You Need to Know

12 million Americans are misdiagnosed each year. If you’re feeling tired, nauseous, and or have less energy than usual, you may have the flu, anemia, or maybe something even more severe. But, which one is it?

It is now widely known that doctors can sometimes misdiagnose their patients. What you should know is that it may happen more often than we think. Although they have their medical degrees, and a lot of experience, they don’t always perform up to par.

Read more to find out why doctors are having trouble properly diagnosing their patients, and what you need to know in order to make sure it doesn’t happen to you:

Training Gap

Although doctors are thoroughly trained in identifying certain symptoms, they do not know everything. Doctors have never been trained to treat the causation of illness, and have just been focusing on writing prescriptions to combat symptoms.

A part of this unfortunate gap is that doctors are unwilling to direct the relevant patient to the correct specialist for proper prognosis. Also, due to the time constraints that come with running a practice, doctors will have a stronger inclination to find a quick fix, instead of finding real causes.

Difficult Patients

It may be hard to believe, but doctors are more likely to misdiagnose a patient if they are more difficult to deal with. A recent study has shown that if someone is a patient who is aggressive or difficult toward the relevant doctor, they will be 42 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed. This is a shocking and sobering statistic.

Patients may also have a strong urge to research their symptoms and come up with their own conclusions, before speaking with the doctor. The patient will then guide the relevant doctor or nurse to the diagnosis that they wish to reach. The mentality behind the notion of “patient really knows how they feel”  is dangerous, as it can lead to a great gap between perceived knowledge vs actual knowledge.

Flawed Health Care System

Many alterations and restrictions in the health care system may contribute to this epidemic. Doctors today have much less time to get to know their patients. The national average for the duration of an appointment is only seven minutes. It is almost impossible to make careful medical decisions within this time frame.

In order to really dig deeper, the doctor must take the time to analyze medical histories, and question the patient about their lifestyle or stress levels. Various activities that a patient is doing, or his/her stress levels are vital information to the diagnosis, and it is not always addressed. In essence, the healthcare system seems to be disorganized and distorted, which threaten correct diagnoses.

Is There a Solution?

Due to how dire the situation is, many organizations have now dedicated their time and effort to research to find a solution. Many have agreed that doctors will need more training on how to make better diagnoses, and to learn more about causations of illnesses.

It was also recommended that doctors increase collaboration among medical professionals, so that there are no communication barriers within the field.

Lastly, healthcare facilities should be monitored in order to ensure proper diagnosis and that doctors are following protocol. As a patient, it is important that you are not engaging in aggressive behavior or are try to immediately discredit the doctor. Make sure the doctor asks you lifestyle questions, and that your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing is examined.

It’s not easy to accept that misdiagnosis has become so prevalent in America. It is important that if you are ever a victim of misdiagnosis, that you voice your case. Contact Dezao Law’s Malpractice lawyers now to get a free consultation, and discuss what you can do.

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