A study indicates that a significant number of people are misdiagnosed and find this out by seeking a second opinion from another physician. The study, which was published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, determined that about a fifth of patients who sought another opinion discovered that they had been misdiagnosed by the first doctor they saw.
Researchers looked at data from approximately 300 individuals who sought another opinion from medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic. Those involved in the study noted that individuals who were seeking an additional opinion often had complex medical issues, so misdiagnosis rates may be lower for more common ailments. However, it is still estimated that about 10 percent of medical problems are misdiagnosed.
Experts recommend that people get a second opinion in a number of circumstances. The first is if someone has been diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, if people feel that they have received an unclear diagnosis or aren’t improving after they start receiving treatment, they should see another doctor to verify the diagnosis and that the treatment is appropriate. If patients are frustrated with their treatment or uncomfortable with it, a second opinion may be valuable.
A doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness can be life-threatening for a patient. Along with the fact that doctors may not be able to figure out why someone has a medical condition, some doctors may determine that people have a medical condition that they do not. This can lead to them not getting the treatments they need as well as receiving treatments that they do not. People who have been harmed in such a manner might want to discuss their situations with a medical malpractice attorney.