When you don't feel well, you go to see a doctor, believing that they will be able to help you. However, this is not always the case for some Providence residents and for people in other parts of the country. The number of people who suffer because of a wrong diagnosis indicates that this is a growing problem, bringing up the question of why it is so easy for a doctor to get it wrong. After all, there is modern technology and a vast amount of information now available. Is the misdiagnosis problem tied to deeper issues?
For one woman, it took six years, multiple incidents of misdiagnosis from medical specialists in two states, and several trips to emergency rooms before she found out from a Rhode Island doctor that her abdominal pain was caused by an uncommon gall bladder disease. What is surprising is the fact that the woman's mother and aunts had previously been diagnosed with a gall bladder disease and yet none of her doctors would even consider it as a possibility.
While she no longer suffers from pain after the gall bladder was removed, the woman is upset with the treatment she received from some of her doctors. Her pediatrician, especially, would not consider the gall bladder as the root of the problem and one doctor even suggested that the pain was a psychological issue.
When patients' doctors disregard what the patient is telling them, it can lead to medical misdiagnosis and further pain and discomfort. Patients who have been the victims of delayed misdiagnosis may want to consider taking legal action against the hospitals and doctors who failed them.
Source: Washington Post, "Eating made her sick," Sandra G. Boodman, March 27, 2013