Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is a fairly common phenomenon. In fact, roughly 10 to 15 percent of all medical cases are misdiagnosed. Among the most common misdiagnoses are breast, colon and lung cancers, heart attacks, and appendicitis.
Given the risks, you, as the patient, should take precautions to protect yourself from being medically misdiagnosed. One such measure involves making sure to take all of your records and test results, such as blood work, as well as any X-ray or MRI imaging with you when scheduled to see a specialist.
Additionally, you should document in writing all of your symptoms. It’s also important to take a copy of your medical history, to include a listing of any diseases that run in your family, so that any pre-existing or genetic conditions can be considered or excluded.
Providing your doctor with a list of medications you are taking at the time of the appointment can help reduce the risk of a drug interaction. Also, describing your symptoms as opposed to self-diagnosing reduces the chance of a misdiagnosis occurring.
Once diagnosed with an ailment or chronic condition, it’s important that you ask your doctor what to expect in terms of the progression of your illness. In doing so, you should seek to find indicators of you getting better or worse so that you can be on the lookout for them.
In communicating with your doctor about your medical condition, you should also be as direct as possible. This includes challenging your doctor to find out what it’s going to take to achieve a proper diagnosis, in cases in which it’s not as clear. You should also consider getting a second opinion.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a suspected case of medical misdiagnosis in San Diego, California, medical malpractice attorney will be an invaluable advocate.