The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that 25 million Americans suffer from rare illnesses, and many of these go undiagnosed for years. Quite often, these rare illnesses have generic symptoms that make it challenging for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. This situation can be frustrating and potentially life-threatening, so it’s important to know how to handle misdiagnosis of medical conditions.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid a misdiagnosis:
- Ask questions – If you have unanswered questions or don’t understand what your doctor is telling you, ask as many questions as necessary to fully understand your situation. A lack of communication is a contributing factor to misdiagnosis. Talk openly with your doctor. Part of their job is helping patients understand their conditions.
- Get a second opinion – Don’t be afraid to see several doctors. Getting a second opinion is always a wise course of action. A specialized medical provider can have different insights that could help with your diagnosis. Do your homework and find a doctor who has helped other people in your position.
- Keep detailed records – You need to maintain a clear and organized timeline of your symptoms and treatments. While lab tests and hospital records are always good to have, think about documenting your symptoms in a journal. You might not always remember the specifics of your symptoms after several months, so a log of symptoms can help a doctor identify your illness.
- Treat your symptoms – If you have visited several doctors and still feel like you are being misdiagnosed, try having a doctor treat the symptoms. It can take a long time to reach a diagnosis, and in the meantime, there’s no reason to suffer from symptoms that can be treated with the appropriate medication.
Rick Plezia & Associates: Houston Texas Medical Misdiagnosis Attorneys
A doctor must carefully review a patient’s medical history and perform a thorough exam to accurately determine a diagnosis. If you feel like your doctor has been negligent in his or her duty of care, or if your physician failed to diagnose your condition, you may be able to file a claim to receive compensation. Contact the attorneys at Rick Plezia & Associates for a free and confidential consultation.