Certain serious medical conditions tend to worsen with time, so timely diagnoses are critical if you wish to overcome what is ailing you or receive a positive prognosis. Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is too common across the United States, with research indicating that primary care doctors misdiagnose their patients in about one-fifth of all cases.

According to AARP, a survey of patients who sought second opinions after receiving serious diagnoses from their doctors revealed that misdiagnosis affected more than 20 percent of them.

A widespread problem

Upon meeting with new doctors for second opinions, only 12 percent of patients found that their family doctors diagnosed them accurately. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed had to have their diagnoses updated upon pursuing a second opinion and finding out that their initial diagnoses were only somewhat correct.

Problems caused by diagnostic errors

Inaccurate medical diagnoses may prevent you from receiving the treatment you need, and this may have a serious impact on your overall condition and ability to overcome it. When your doctor misdiagnoses you and you have cancer, the doctor’s mistake may prove particularly troublesome, as cancer may progress if not identified on time.

On the flip side, medical misdiagnosis may cause you to undergo treatment you do not really need, which may lead to additional health-related or financial hardships. It may cause other serious problems and complications, too.

Research shows that medical misdiagnosis is a factor in between 6% and 17% of all adverse events that take place in American hospitals. Studies also show that medical misdiagnosis contributes to about 10% of all patient deaths across the United States. Find more about medical misdiagnosis on our webpage.