How to prevent and handle a misdiagnosis in Oregon

While your physician may misdiagnose or fail to diagnose your condition, you can take specific steps to improve your outcome and gain peace of mind.

You have not been feeling well lately, and over-the-counter medications do not seem to help. You go to your primary physician in Oregon to gain clarity on what is going on and determine how to get back to full health. You may either receive a diagnosis that later turns out to be incorrect, or your doctor may give you a clean bill of health...even though your symptoms persist. What do you do next?

The impact of a misdiagnosis or difficult diagnosis

One of the many reasons patients die in hospitals is that there was a diagnostic error. When that happens, patients can receive harmful and unnecessary treatment that ultimately proves ineffective. Health complications can worsen from both misdiagnosis and a lack of an accurate diagnosis. A lot of time, money and energy can be spent (and wasted) when patients do not receive helpful or accurate care. Thankfully, they are not completely powerless.

Communicate with your doctor

Yes, your doctor has more medical training and experience than you, but that experience and training has to be guided. Communicate with your doctor about the type of symptoms you experience, what you do before your symptoms flare up, how long your symptoms last and if there is anything that calms your symptoms. Here, there is no such thing as too much information. If you have a lot of details to cover, write them all down, so your doctor can look them over later in case there is not enough time during your appointment.

Keep accurate and thorough records

You may have seen doctors or medical specialists in the past for your condition. If so, keep track of all the tests you completed. Bring your medical records, which you can do by contacting your healthcare provider for the required forms and fees to get copies of your records. Keep an organized file or notebook of everything to make the information easier to find and so your physician has an easier time making sense of everything.

Ask questions, and be assertive

During your appointment, ask questions, even if they seem like silly questions. For instance, is there more than one disease that could be causing your symptoms? How accurate are the diagnostic tests? You never know what ideas questions and answers can spark.

On a related note, do not be afraid to speak up for yourself if you feel your doctor is either rushing or dismissing you. Listen to your gut if you feel something is off. You may need to change doctors if you feel your current one is not giving you the time and attention you need.

Do you feel that medical negligence is to blame for your misdiagnosis or lack of a proper diagnosis? Sit down and discuss your situation with a legal professional in Oregon.