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How common is medical misdiagnosis?

When you visit a doctor or specialist in Arizona, you have little choice other than to place your faith in the hands of the professional you have entrusted with diagnosing you. Because medical professionals are held to such high standards, and because they have to go through so much schooling to practice medicine, many people think that physicians are immune from making mistakes.

On the contrary, however, the Washington Post notes that medical misdiagnosis is quite common in America, with more than 20 percent of all patients seeking second opinions learning they do not, in fact, have the condition they thought they did. Not only that, but in more than 60 percent of all cases of misdiagnosis, patients learn that the condition they actually have is “distinctly different” from the one named during their initial diagnosis.

Why is medical misdiagnosis so common in America? While there are somewhere around 10,000 different diseases, ailments and conditions out there, there are only about 200 or 300 symptoms patients can exhibit to help doctors nail down the cause of their struggles. Therefore, it is particularly important that you seek a second medical opinion if you learn you have a chronic disease, need a serious surgery or otherwise feel unsure or unconfident about the medical diagnosis you receive.

Not seeking a second medical opinion can have serious and significant consequences. Diagnostic errors are a factor in about 10 percent of today’s patient deaths and account for somewhere between 6 and 17 percent of all adverse events in hospitals, although some believe these numbers are actually much higher.

This information about medical misdiagnoses seeks to inform you, but it is not a replacement for legal advice.

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