Top 5 Causes of Misdiagnoses and Diagnostic Errors (Pt. 2)
May 12, 2014
Continuing from Top 5 Causes of Misdiagnoses and Diagnostic Errors (Pt. 1), here are some additional common causes of diagnostic errors, according to some prominent researchers.
Misdiagnosis Cause 2: Doctor Inexperience and/or Overconfidence
In some cases, the physicians themselves may not have the experience necessary to:
- Recognize the symptoms of certain conditions
- Know when to call for certain medical tests
- Know how to properly read the results of these tests, leading to misdiagnoses.
In other cases, the opposite may be true – doctors may have significant experience, which may cause them to be overly confident in making diagnoses based on little or insufficient evidence. This may, consequently, lead to overconfident doctors not considering changes in patients’ symptoms and/or possible problems with their original diagnoses.
Misdiagnosis Cause 3: Lack of Time with Patients
Research shows that, on average, doctors spend between 10 to 15 minutes with each of their patients during appointments. This is not necessarily because doctors don’t care about their patients but, instead, is usually the result of the high demand for care and the need to move on to other patients.
Unfortunately, 15 minutes is not necessarily enough time to discuss all of a patient’s symptoms and concerns, get a complete picture of their medical history, review their test results and make a proper diagnosis.
This, in turn, means that the lack of time that doctors are able to spend with patients often contributes to diagnostic errors. If patients don’t end up going back to the same doctor (because, for instance, they get a referral to a new specialist), the cycle can start over again (with new doctors only getting a small picture of patients’ conditions), and proper diagnoses being delayed once again.
Stay posted for the final part of this blog for the conclusion of our discussion regarding common causes of misdiagnoses.
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Have you been misdiagnosed, and has this serious mistake had significant impacts on your health? If so, it’s time to contact the Portland malpractice attorneys at the Savage Law Firm. Since 1977, our lawyers have been committed to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.
We realize how physically, psychologically and financially devastating medical mistakes can be, and our lawyers are here to aggressively defend injured people’s rights to both justice and compensation. While this means that our Portland malpractice lawyers will work diligently to help our clients tell their stories in court, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to insurers and others outside of the courtroom to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the settlements they deserve.
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