Imagine waking up one day with an unknown medical condition. In addition to feeling physically ill, you may be concerned about what the problem is. However, most people are reassured by the fact that a well-trained, qualified physician will be able to properly diagnose them. Sadly, that doesn't always happen.
According to the American Journal of Medicine, about 15 percent of people experience a misdiagnosis. In some cases, a proper diagnosis can be the difference between life and death. For some patients, it is critical that they receive a proper diagnosis.
One resident in nearby New York City knows that first-hand. A 20-year-old man visited an emergency room with bad headaches. Doctors said the 20-year-old was suffering from cluster headaches and sent him home with pain medication. However, the pain persisted. He returned to the same emergency room a second and third time, but doctors continued to diagnose him with the same condition.
The man decided to visit another hospital. When he did, he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Doctors said the condition was very serious and that he would likely need to be hospitalized for quite some time.
Patients should be able to rely on their physicians to provide them with an accurate diagnosis. However, physicians all over the country make medical mistakes that end up harming their patients.
In order to prevent a misdiagnosis, patients should ask their physicians lots of questions and engage them in a conversation. Patients should also not be afraid to seek out another physician's opinion, as the man in this story did. Sometimes a second opinion can be a life-saving measure.