An accurate, quick diagnosis is one of the most important steps in getting effective medical care. You need to know what causes your symptoms to get the right care. Otherwise, simply treating the symptoms may do little to alleviate your condition.
Unfortunately, about 12 million people every year are misdiagnosed when they turn to their doctor for help. If you have symptoms and need treatment, the following two tips can help you reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of misdiagnosis.
Make a written record of your major concerns before your appointment
Your doctor is only going to have a few minutes to talk with you. Therefore, you need to be ready to quickly and thoroughly outline what you have experienced.
Claiming some digestive upset likely won’t give your doctor as good of an idea about what you have experienced as a detailed journal of specific symptoms, including when they occurred and how long they lasted, as well as what might have contributed to them, can help you explain your situation better to your doctor.
Don’t give up if your doctor doesn’t diagnose you quickly
Deciding not to mention symptoms again because your doctor didn’t take them seriously the first time is a big mistake. You are your own strongest advocate, and you need to keep pushing for a conversation or additional testing if your doctor doesn’t resolve the symptoms when you first see them.
Getting a second opinion or asking for a referral to a specialist may be a necessary step if your doctor isn’t concerned or can’t seem to determine the cause of the symptoms affecting your life. If your doctor failed to diagnose you and you now have a poorer prognosis, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim to help cover the costs of care and lost wages.