When you go to the doctor or agree to have surgery for a medical need, you trust that your Virginia doctor has your best interests in mind. You believe he or she is providing you with medical care that meets a certain standard. However, doctors make mistakes sometimes, and these errors can have grave consequences for patients.
One of these mistakes is failure to properly diagnose a medical issue. Appropriate diagnostic tests are crucial, as is reading the results correctly. Doctors should also strive to listen to patient concerns carefully, as this can help them know what tests are necessary and what medical concerns could be affecting the patient. Failure to properly diagnose an illness can lead to progression of a disease and catastrophic health impacts.
The importance of a correct diagnosis
Certain types of illnesses, such as cancer, can progress quickly. If a doctor does not diagnose this disease quickly, it can result in a fast progression of the disease that may not be treatable or respond well to treatment. In many cases, a proper diagnosis is the difference between life and death. Doctors receive training on how to avoid a missed diagnosis.
Typically, a doctor will first consider every option for a possible diagnosis. Testing, monitoring symptoms and speaking with the patient can help a doctor narrow down the list. Doctors should be prudent when interpreting test results and symptoms, making sure to explore all options before deciding on a treatment plan. Doctors who move too quickly through the diagnostic stage or are negligent in their care of a patient could miss something important.
The right plan
The right diagnosis is critical for choosing the right treatment plan. Unnecessary medication or medical interventions can result in patient harm. One of the most common ways this happens is when doctors minimize patient concerns or dismiss certain symptoms as temporary or minor. Misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis can lead to erroneous treatment or missed treatment that is crucial for a patient’s long-term health.
Victims have rights
A missed diagnosis could be a type of medical malpractice. If you believe you are a victim, it is in your interests to take quick action to learn about the legal options available to you. It is possible that you have grounds for a civil claim, a process that allows you to pursue compensation for your financial losses and damages for your non-economic losses as well.