There are many reasons for a misdiagnosis or a situation in which the doctor doesn’t find the issue at all, overlooking a potentially serious problem. Sometimes the results are complicated, sometimes the lab mixes up the samples, and sometimes there are paperwork errors. However, there are also times when doctors simply don’t listen to their patients.
This also can happen for a variety of reasons. Doctors may be in a rush. They know they should talk to you more, but they’re behind schedule and they sprint through the appointment to get it over with.
Maybe the doctor is distracted. You’re talking about your symptoms and the doctor is checking a cell phone. You think he or she heard everything, but the doctor really missed that one key detail that would have helped make the right diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there is also a chance the doctor is biased and simply won’t pay as much attention to you as to another patient. For instance, a study carried out in 2004 looked at how white doctors handled themselves with patients, and it found that they listened more with other white patients, while they talked more with African American patients.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed or if a diagnosis wasn’t made promptly and your issues got worse — localized cancer that then spread through the body, for example — you probably don’t care why the doctor made the mistake. You’re just angry that you got less than optimal care from those you trusted with your life. If you want to learn more about your legal options, our law firm has worked with many such patients, and we can answer your questions today.