You rely on your doctors to provide an accurate assessment of your illness or injury. When a doctor fails to provide a reliable diagnosis, it can increase the chances of an illness progressing, cut into vital treatment time and put patients at great risk.
Alarmingly, doctors misdiagnose an estimated 12 million patients each year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. One way you can protect yourself from this risk is to understand some of the warning signs of a misdiagnosis.
A diagnosis unrelated to symptoms
You should be on the lookout for any type of diagnosis from a doctor which seems completely unrelated to their symptoms. In some cases, your charts could get mixed up with another patient. This can lead to a completely inaccurate evaluation of your illness.
A diagnosis that contradicts a second opinion
If you have received a second opinion, and it contradicts the diagnosis you were previously given, you could be dealing with a misdiagnosis. Obtaining a second or even third opinion is a great way to safeguard against this happening to you.
A diagnosis that contradicts known research
It is always advisable that you do some of your own research in addition to visiting your doctor. There may be new research available concerning health and medical treatments. You can do your part to protect your own health by researching your symptoms and reading up on a possible cause and treatment.
As a patient, it is important to advocate for yourself in order to stay safe from a misdiagnosis. With due diligence, you can cut down the chances of becoming a victim of this medical issue.