After you have discussed your health problems with your doctor, you expect that your physician will accurately diagnose what is wrong with you. Unfortunately, some patients receive a misdiagnosis that does not direct them to the correct treatment. Some people suffer worsening health as a result and in some cases even die.
Sometimes a misdiagnosis occurs because of what a doctor does not ask a patient or what a patient does not know to tell a doctor. These gaps in a conversation could lead to a doctor making an error when determining a health condition.
Examples of missing information
According to Healthguides, sometimes doctors lack certain kinds of medical information important to making a diagnosis. These include the following:
- any medicine you are currently taking
- your prior surgeries
- the symptoms you are experiencing
- any vitamins or supplements you take
Even if you think to bring up these points, your doctor might not press you for specifics. For example, your doctor could learn what symptoms you have, but not the length of time you have experienced them or their intensity. A lack of this information may lead your doctor to the wrong conclusion.
Provide your doctor with details
Your doctor has an obligation to ask the right questions and use the correct tools when diagnosing you. Still, you can help prevent a misdiagnosis by writing down in advance what you will tell your doctor. In addition to describing your medicines, vitamins and any current medical treatments, you should also explain your medical history and that of your family.
Finally, think of questions to ask your doctor, like how your physician arrived at the diagnosis. If your doctor has second thoughts about identifying your condition, asking questions might expose any doubts. You may also seek a second opinion if you continue to doubt the diagnosis.