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How to Avoid Being Medically Misdiagnosed

By Grant Law Office on April 15, 2010

This blog is a summary of the VLOG (Video Blog) located in the Wayne Grant video library titled “How to Avoid Being Medically Misdiagnosed”.

Wayne Grant – GA Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney

Each year more than 100,000 deaths occur as a result of medical errors. A big part of that problem is medical misdiagnosis. How can you try to avoid being misdiagnosed? Here are a few tips:

    1. Write it all down. When you go to the doctor, you’re often asked to give your medical history. Your medical history is your health story. It is usually what prompts you to seek out medical care or treatment. Before you ever get to the doctor, particularly if your history is somewhat complicated, write it out. Know exactly what information you are going to disclose.
    2. Be specific. The more specific you can be, the better off you will be, because your doctor will be able to make an informed decision when trying to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
      • For example, if you have pain, be specific when you describe the pain. Is it local or generalized? Is it severe? Is it mild? Is it moderate? Talk about the timing of your pain. Is it intermittent or is it constant? Are there modifiers? Are there things that make your pain worse or better? (i.e. changes in position. Time of day)
    3. Give your full history. If you have had any testing, you should know when your tests were performed, what tests were performed and what the test results were. Preferably, you should get copies of your test results, particularly if you’re going to see a new doctor.
    4. Tell your ‘in-depth’ history to the doctor. Usually when you visit the doctor, you will initially speak to a nurse, medical assistant or physician assistant. Don’t assume that person will be able to relay all of the information that you provided to them to the doctor. First, they may not be able to write it all down. You may have spoken to quickly for them. Secondly, they are not as qualified as the medical doctor to recognize the significance of a particular aspect of your history. Do your best to relay your in-depth history to the doctor, rather than to the person you see at the beginning of the visit.

Note: If you do these few things, you’ll go a long way towards lessening your chances of being misdiagnosed.

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