It is not unusual for even diligent doctors to make mistakes when diagnosing an illness. Diagnostics is often a guessing game or a process of elimination that allows doctors to narrow down the cause of your symptoms. However, not every doctor has the time or the interest in chasing down an accurate diagnosis, and this may result in devastating consequences for a patient.
If you feel as if your doctor may have gotten your diagnosis wrong, you may be uncertain how to proceed. After all, doctors have years of education, training and experience, and you have only the internet. Nevertheless, you can be your best advocate if you arm yourself with as much information as possible and recognize when your doctor may have made a critical error in your diagnosis.
Were you the doctor’s top priority?
There are signs that indicate a doctor has gotten the answer wrong. This is common in cases where a patient’s symptoms may lead to a number of conditions, some more serious than others. However, every doctor or medical facility should have protocols in place that allows them to reach the most likely conclusion based on your symptoms and other information. You may believe your doctor did not follow this protocol for any of the following reasons:
- Your doctor did not run important tests that most medical standards recommend for your complaints.
- You obtained a second opinion that differed with your doctor’s diagnosis.
- You are not getting well despite taking the prescription or other treatments your doctor recommended.
- Your doctor rushed through your appointment without obtaining much information.
In fact, a missed or incorrect diagnosis often begins with the first moments of your appointment. For example, any of the following could quickly send the doctor in the wrong direction when seeking an accurate diagnosis:
- A nurse failed to take your complete medical and family history.
- Your doctor did not consider any medications you may already be taking.
- No one asked about allergies or recent illnesses.
- Your doctor rushed or dismissed your description of your symptoms.
In some cases, an illness will clear up on its own despite a misdiagnosis. However, if your Georgia doctor failed to diagnose your cancer, heart disease or other progressive illness, you may find yourself getting worse, perhaps to the point where treatment will no longer help. If your doctor’s negligence led to a misdiagnosis that has left you suffering, you have every right to seek legal advice about the options available for pursuing compensation.