Our Blog

Understanding misdiagnosis and how you can prevent it

When you are feeling uncomfortable or experiencing suspicious pain, one of the first things you usually do is contact your doctor. As a patient, you rely heavily on your medical provider’s ability to diagnose your symptoms and recommend a treatment option that will give you the best chance at regaining full health. At Elk & Elk, we have helped many people in Washington to become more educated about the danger of being misdiagnosed.

A misdiagnosis is when your doctor makes an incorrect assumption about what health problems you are having. Mistakes can be made because of a lapse in communication, carelessness and because some issues have the same symptoms. In fact, according to CBS News, nearly 12 million people who see outpatient care are incorrectly diagnosed every year in the United States. While your doctor may be confident in his or her ability to provide accurate diagnostic results, sometimes test results could be misread. Additionally, if your doctor is rushing to make a diagnosis and fails to spend time talking with you to really understand what you are experiencing, it could also increase your risks of being misdiagnosed. 

Fortunately, you can help protect yourself against being misdiagnosed by providing thorough and accurate information to your doctor regarding your medical history. If you do receive any diagnostic testing, do not assume that no news is good news. Rather, place a follow-up call to learn about the results and verify that there was indeed nothing wrong. 

By understanding the dangers of being misdiagnosed and taking proper actions against preventing a misdiagnosis from happening to you, you can be more confident in the treatment your doctor recommends. For more information about how to stay safe from doctor errors, visit our web page.