Everyday, doctors and other specialists must quickly sift through a sea of patients with a variety of different ailments and illnesses. They must make quick decisions and diagnoses on a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, for one reason or another, a medical professional will make a mistake. A misdiagnosis could cause a patient severe injury, or even death. While a medical professional should catch the correct diagnosis, there are ways a patient can potentially avoid a misdiagnosis. Below are five ways to potentially avoid a misdiagnosis:
Make Note of Symptoms
Most patients wait before seeing a doctor. In this waiting period, a variety of symptoms can come and go. It is imperative for a person to make note of the different symptoms affecting them. Some symptoms can rule out certain diagnoses, while some symptoms can be a sign of a certain diagnosis. Keeping a list of symptoms can help a doctor greatly.
Avoid Drawing Conclusions
When a patient is describing their symptoms, it can be tempting to come to certain conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion could potentially cause a doctor to rule out different ailments. One should always just give their symptoms and how the symptoms are affecting them.
If one is taking any medications, whether they were prescribed by the current doctor or not, it can help for a patient to being in their current medications. This could help a doctor determine whether the medicine is to blame.
Clear Medical History
A patient should know whether or not certain conditions run in the family. Conditions like heart disease, depression, anxiety, cancer, and more could help a doctor determine whether or not a genetic facet is at play during diagnosis.
Ask Plenty of Questions
It’s not uncommon for a patient to try and do all the talking during a visit. While all that talking is done, a patient should take care to ask questions regarding their diagnosis and their doctor’s reason for arriving at that conclusion. Moreover, a patient should ask for a second opinion from another doctor if they are feeling uneasy or if the diagnosis is particularly heavy. This two-step verification of a diagnosis can greatly lower the chances of being misdiagnosed.
These tips can serve as a great help in avoiding a misdiagnosis. But despite following these and many other tips, misdiagnoses occur everyday and their effect on a person could be far worse than the original symptoms.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis, contact a lawyer who could help.