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What do doctors most commonly misdiagnose?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

You might understand if a doctor struggles to diagnose an incredibly rare condition. They may never even have heard of it, let alone seen someone with it or understand what the warning signs are.

Yet most medical misdiagnoses do not relate to rare conditions but to three incredibly common ones: cancer, vascular events and infections. A study by John Hopkins Medicine discovered those three conditions accounted for almost three-quarters of all diagnosis errors.

The frequency of these conditions is, of course, one of the reasons for those high percentages. Far more people get cancer than a rare tropical disease meaning far more people with cancer go to a doctor in the first place than with the rare tropical disease. Yet shouldn’t doctors be whizzes at detecting things like cancer by now?

They should, but doctors sometimes make mistakes

If one of their mistakes affected you or a loved one, understanding why they were wrong will be crucial. Here are some possible reasons:

  • The doctor was not paying attention: Maybe she was more focused on the nurse by her side than you. Or perhaps her child was sick at home, and she was too worried about them to concentrate.
  • The doctor had become arrogant: Some doctors become too big for their boots and skip to a diagnosis without adequate consultation. Or they might get an initial idea and subconsciously focus on proving themselves right rather than retaining an open mind to the last.

Those are just two of the reasons a doctor might have got it wrong. If they misdiagnose you, you may be entitled to compensation if certain conditions are met. Seek help to find out more.