How You Can Help Prevent Misdiagnosis


doctor-1228630_960_720When you don’t feel quite like yourself, you deserve to know why. You deserve to know why without unnecessary delay. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to pinpoint the exact cause of an illness when so many symptoms can be indicative of different ailments.

It is difficult to determine just how many cases are misdiagnosed every year, but it is estimated that there is a misdiagnosis rate of between 10 and 15 percent. Of the conditions misdiagnosed, heart attack, appendicitis, breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer top the list.

Because you want to get the right diagnosis from your doctor, here are five things you should do.

1. Write Down Your Symptoms

You may be surprised to find that the majority of patients call their doctors after their appointment, telling them about symptoms they forgot they had. It may turn out that that itchy throat you forgot about would have been important for the doctor to know. Write down your symptoms before your appointment, and revisit your list at least twice before you check in. It will be easier for your to give your doctor a clear picture of what is wrong with you if you jot everything down.

2. Know Your History

Knowing your medical history is important. If you aren’t sure of the things that run in your family, ask someone. Some diseases have a genetic component, and this information is important for your doctor to have.

3. Bring Medications and Supplements

If you take vitamins in the morning, take the bottle to your appointment. The same goes for any prescription medication you are on. Your doctor will check the pills to be sure they are the correct ones. They will also be made aware of any medical reactions that could be taking place.

4. Get Specific

When telling your doctor your symptoms, be as specific as possible. There is a difference between have a dull ache in your head and stabbing pains behind your eye. Your doctor will question you about your symptoms so you should be prepared to get detailed.

5. Don’t Downplay

It is not unusual for people to downplay their symptoms. Do not make light of anything that is wrong with you. Your doctor can only work with the information you provide. If you go with the stiff upper lip approach, you could be doing yourself a disservice.

You are an advocate for your own health. Work with your doctor instead of against them when you are attempting to discover what type of illness or ailment you are dealing with. The more information you can give your doctor, the less likely you are to be misdiagnosed.

If you believe that you have been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, call our office today. A member of our team will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Call now and find out about your options.

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