Misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical errors in the United States. Some studies have found that the risk of a wrong diagnosis is as high as 10% to 15%. However, the question must be asked: Is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of your condition being misdiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed?
The good news is that there is! Being informed is half the battle. As an aware patient, you must be completely informed about all your symptoms and the possible diagnoses and treatment.
Begin by writing down all of your symptoms as they occur. Make a comprehensive list of symptoms so that you are able to inform the doctor at your appointment. Patients often neglect to mention key symptoms, underestimating their significance. This can open the door for a misdiagnosis. If you believe that there is something your doctor should know, tell her. Be specific: If pain is chronic, make sure the doctor knows about this. If your pain did not subside after taking a common painkiller, for instance, inform your doctor about this. Document dates, duration, treatment attempts, and observations.