You know when something feels off within your body. However, you may not know what is causing your pain or discomfort or what you might do to fix it. You may count on your New York doctor to figure out what is ailing you and what you need to do to make it better. Yet, the success of your treatment depends on your doctor diagnosing you with the correct condition in the first place.
Per AARP, medical misdiagnosis is far more common than you may think. A study of patients who sought second opinions after their primary care physicians diagnosed them with serious conditions or illnesses showed that doctors completely misdiagnosed patients in more than 20% of cases.
In addition to misdiagnosing a fifth of all patients studied, doctors made diagnostic errors when diagnosing 66% of patients, meaning the diagnoses given to those patients required updating later on. Only 12% of patients who sought treatment for serious symptoms received accurate diagnoses during their initial visits.
Medical misdiagnosis may have a substantial impact on your prognosis. Your medical team needs to understand what is troubling you to be able to or show. Studies show that diagnostic mistakes have a hand in 10% of patient deaths and contribute to up to 17% of all adverse events in hospitals.
Seeking a second opinion is often a strong defense against diagnostic errors. When you receive a serious medical diagnosis from your doctor and he or she recommends that you undergo intensive treatment, consider seeking a second medical opinion before treatment begins.