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How can I tell if my doctor got my diagnosis wrong?

Perhaps you felt like you had the flu, a bad chest cold or a pulled muscle. You may have had aching joints, overwhelming fatigue or a pain you could not describe. Whether you went to the emergency room or your primary physician, chances are someone heard your symptoms, ran some tests and named your diagnosis.

It may have been a relief, or it may have left you further confused. You may be like many in Ohio and elsewhere who do internet searches for your symptoms before determining whether they are serious enough to go to the doctor. If your doctor’s diagnosis does not seem right, you may feel unqualified to question it with only your Google search information. However, there are some signs that may indicate your doctor got it very wrong.

Did your doctor make a mistake?

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common and dangerous forms of medical malpractice in the United States. A patient may return to the doctor again and again without convincing him or her that something is wrong. Of course, it may be difficult to question a medical professional who has years of education and experience, but you may feel justified in advocating for yourself, especially if any of the following are true:

  • Your symptoms could indicate numerous conditions, some of which are minor and others that may be life threatening.
  • You feel as if your doctor rushed through your exam, perhaps skipping your medical history, failing to ask about your current medications or brushing off any symptoms that concerned you.
  • Your doctor failed to order appropriate tests to rule out more serious conditions.
  • You sought a second or even third opinion that did not line up with your first doctor’s diagnosis.
  • The course of treatment your doctor ordered is not making you better.

A missed or wrong diagnosis can cost you physically, financially and emotionally. You may spend your time and money going through useless treatments or taking prescriptions that do more harm than good while your real illness continues to progress. You may be like many who learn the true nature of their illnesses when it is too late to expect a full recovery. This may result in complex surgeries, permanent injury or a terminal prognosis.

If you are suffering with any of these outcomes because a doctor made a serious diagnostic error, you have rights. By reaching out to a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney, you can learn of your rights and your options for pursuing compensation through the civil courts.