Patients in New York and across the country can sometimes be the subject of a wrong diagnosis. This can occur in instances where they try to diagnose their illness themselves without consulting a medical professional, fail to take tests or do not report all their symptoms to their physician because they might be too embarrassed. However, a great deal of misdiagnoses occurs because of negligence on the part of a doctor or specialist.
Because there are more than 20,000 types of human diseases, many physicians are only aware of the most common ones as well as the over-publicized ones. In many cases, patients who show symptoms of a common disease may get diagnosed for that disease when in actuality they have something else, and this could put the patient’s health in jeopardy.
Furthermore, since physicians have different skill levels, not all of them specialize in uncommon diseases; therefore, patients suffering from a rare disease may prefer to go to a specialist who may be able to give an accurate diagnosis. Some physicians have biases that could lead to a misdiagnosis as well. These types of physicians tend to routinely give the same diagnosis because they see the same disease often and are familiar with it. This tendency could easily lead to a dangerous misdiagnosis, particularly if the wrong surgery or medication is recommended.
Patients can also be misdiagnosed because their doctors do not spend adequate time examining them, asking them questions or ordering blood tests to confirm their diagnosis. In other cases, diagnostic tools such as pathology or laboratory tests may produce wrong results.
No matter how a physician arrives at a diagnosis, it is crucial that patients receive the right one for their illness. In cases where a patient suffers physical harm because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness, the doctor could be held liable for damages. Source: Right Diagnosis, "Why Does Misdiagnosis Occur?", February 24, 2017