Misdiagnosis is one of the main causes of malpractice lawsuits. Despite their many years training, sometimes doctors get it wrong. They may misdiagnose or even fail to diagnose a patient. We need to be able to trust our doctors, but we should also trust our own intuition. No-one knows your body better than you do. It is important to feel confident in raising any concerns to your doctor and asking any questions that you have. If you feel that you have been misdiagnosed, then here are the steps you should take.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, 12 million people are misdiagnosed each year. If you feel that your diagnosis doesn’t match your symptoms, or that treatment is not working, then go back to your doctor. Do not feel that you are being a nuisance, your health is important.
You may need to make some lifestyle changes, such as to your diet or getting more exercise. You may also need to reduce stress or take more time to care for yourself. Stress and diet can lead to fatigue, digestive issues, headaches and even shortness of breath. Sometimes, the answer could be the simplest one. If you make these changes and still feel that your diagnosis is wrong, then you may want to return to your doctor.
Be sure to share as much information as possible with your doctor, even if you are unsure if all of your symptoms are relevant. If you have questions, then ask them. You can also check websites such as WebMD. Although you should try and not self-diagnose, the information should give you a vague idea as to whether your symptoms are matching up to your diagnosis.
If you feel that your doctor isn’t listening to you, then get a second opinion or ask for a referral to a specialist. If you still feel that you have been misdiagnosed, then do not be afraid to get a third or fourth opinion. You may want to bring someone close to you along to doctors’ appointments. They may be able to help you to explain your symptoms.
There are also a lot of support groups online where you can talk to people going through similar things. For example, a common diagnosis for digestive issues is IBS – this is a difficult diagnosis as there is no conclusive test that can be performed for it. It is only diagnosed after other possibilities have been ruled out. Support groups will allow you to share your symptoms and find out how you are similar to others. You can also share tips on how best to deal with it.
If you have been harmed as a result of a misdiagnosis then you may be able to claim for compensation. Your health is important and while you should trust doctors, who have had a lot of training to get into the position they are in, you should also listen to your own body. Getting the right help could drastically improve your life.
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