Have you ever gone to see the doctor with a problem that you thought was very serious only to be told that it was something very simple? Do you have the gut feeling that your doctor was just not interested enough to look deeper into the problem? Are your symptoms worsening, even though you are following the prescribed treatment from your doctor?
Â If you answered yes to any of these questions you can place yourself with at least 40 percent of the population. Thatâ€™s right, 40 percent of the population believes that they have been misdiagnosed by their doctor. This figure, released by the CDC, is not comforting. It shows a lack of trust in the medical community. However, this lack of trust is sadly necessary. According to the Institute of Medicine, more people die from medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis, each year than from breast cancer, highway accidents, or AIDS.
Â The Value of Being Thorough
Â A simple problem misdiagnosed can have a very sad ending. An example is of a 70 year old woman who was an avid gardener. Her shoulder began to have extensive pain, and a trip to the doctor resulted in a diagnosis of â€œmuscle strain.â€ She was advised to relax and tone down her gardening. A second trip to the doctor resulted in a prescription of muscle relaxers.
Â After 6 months of this continual pain, she finally relented to get a second opinion from another doctor, even though she was loyal to her doctor. The second doctor conducted tests and discovered that it was late stage lung cancer. Sadly, the delay in time made it too late to treat. The woman passed away a few months later. This is not an uncommon story. In fact, it is more common than you may think.
Â Misdiagnosis Is Medical Malpractice
Â According to attorneys at Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer, “One of the most common types of malpractice perpetrated by Virginia health care providers is misdiagnosis, which is when a doctor or other health professional diagnoses a condition as something other than what it truly is, or fails to timely diagnose a condition or disease.” If this has happened to you, you are a victim of medical malpractice. Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to provide the best and most competent of care to you. This is part of their Hippocratic Oath.
Â However, many medical professionals do not provide quality service. They may be rushed for time, distracted, swayed by pharmaceutical companies, or overworked. Whatever the underlying cause, they are not doing their jobs correctly and this is against the law and could result in serious consequences for an unsuspecting patient. Lives are at risk when doctors do not do their job correctly.
Â Once you have received a second opinion and begun to stabilize your health, you are encouraged to contact a medical malpractice attorney about this misdiagnosis. As the victim of medical malpractice, you are entitled to specific compensation under the law.
Â What A Patient Can Do To Protect Their Health
Â If you have a medical issue, you should make a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing. You should make a separate list of any and all medications you are taking, including natural remedies and over-the-counter medications. Many times a doctor can find a correlation between your symptoms and your medicines.
Â Do a little research on your own to see what may be wrong. Even though you are not a trained medical professional, being an informed patient can save your life. If the diagnosis does not seem correct to you, ask questions. If your doctor does not seem interested in your questions, or fails to answer them sufficiently, go home and schedule a second opinion.
Â Your health is the most important thing that you possess. Every effort should be made to preserve it, even if it means that you have to leave the comfort zone of your preferred physician and seek a second opinion.
About theÂ Author
Molly Pearce writes to encourages people to take responsibility for their own health and wellness and to protect their rights as patients. The personal Injury law firm of Price Benowitz LLP represents misdiagnosed Virginians and those fallen victim to other forms of medical malpractice. Because this type of litigation can be complex, it is crucial for victims in need of compensation to have knowledgeable and experienced representation.